Ready to ring in the new year, Americans look ahead with optimism, according to a new AP-Times Square New Year's Eve poll. Their ratings of the year gone by? Less than glowing.
What the public thought of 2013:
Good year or good riddance?
On the whole, Americans rate their own experience in 2013 more positively than negatively, but when asked to assess the year for the United States or the world at large, things turn sour.
(Read more: 4 spectacularly wrong predictions)
—All told, 32 percent say 2013 was a better year for them than 2012, while 20 percent say it was worse and 46 percent say the two years were really about the same. Young people were more apt to see improvement: 40 percent of people under age 30 called 2013 a better year than 2012, compared with 25 percent of people age 65 or older.
—The public splits evenly on how the year turned out for the country, 25 percent saying it was better than 2012, 25 percent saying it was worse. As with most questions about the state of affairs in the U.S. these days, there's a sharp partisan divide. Democrats are more apt to say the U.S. turned out better in 2013 than 2012 (37 percent) than are Republicans (17 percent).
—Thinking about the world at large, 30 percent say 2013 was worse than 2012, while just 20 percent say it was better.