The Asia Foundation's Afghanistan in 2010: A survey of the Afghan People, questioned more than 6,000 people this summer in all of Afghanistan's provinces and found that 47 per cent of them believed that the country was moving in the right direction - up from 38 per cent in 2008 and 42 per cent in 2009.
Insecurity remains the main reason for pessimism, cited by 44 per cent of respondents who say the country is moving in the wrong direction. Other reasons for pessimism include corruption, bad government and unemployment.
Over half of those questioned feared for their personal safety in their local area, with 17 per cent of respondents saying that they or someone in their family had been the victims of violence or crime in the past year. One in ten victims reported that this was due to the actions of militias and insurgents and about one in 16 said it was due to the actions of foreign forces.
Support for the government's approach for negotiation and reintegration of armed groups is significantly higher in 2010 than in 2009, with 83 per cent supporting government efforts to negotiate with armed insurgents, compared with 71 per cent in 2009. Support is highest in the east, south-east and north-west and lowest in the Central/Hazarajat region. Eighty-one percent agree that the government should provide assistance, jobs and housing to those who lay down arms and want to integrate.
The number of respondents who have sympathy with the insurgents has fallen from 56 per cent in 2009 to 40 per cent in 2010.
More Afghans say they are better off now than a year ago in terms of financial wellbeing, quality of food, availability of goods and employment opportunities. People are generally satisfied with the availability of schooling for children, the quality of drinking water and the ability to move safely in local areas. They are less satisfied with the availability of jobs and electricity.
There's plenty more facts and figures in this report and although opinion surveys are not always the way to understand what is happening in a society, this one is thorough and well thought out and because it is the fifth time it has taken place, it has a certain amount of credibility.