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Home News POLL: Is Support for Traditional American Values, Patriotism Declining?

POLL: Is Support for Traditional American Values, Patriotism Declining?

POLL: Is Support for Traditional American Values, Patriotism Declining?

( – According to a Wall Street Journal-NORC poll, the proportion of Americans who consider family, religion, country, and other traditional American values “extremely important” is dropping.

Except for “money,” which has increased in importance since 1998, support for every traditional American virtue covered in the poll has decreased.

The research also indicates that younger individuals and Democrats do not generally place as high an emphasis on traditional American ideals as do older people and Republicans.

Asserting that “these differences are so dramatic, it paints a new and surprising portrait of a changing America,” pollster Bill McInturff suggested that “perhaps the toll of our political division, Covid, and the lowest economic confidence in decades is having a startling effect on our core values.”

The 9/11 terrorist attacks, the 2008 financial crisis, and Donald Trump’s presidential election were just a few of the events that “have rattled and in some ways fragmented the nation since the Journal first asked about unifying ideals,” according to the Journal.

The Journal-NORC surveyed 1,019 persons between March 1 and 13, primarily online. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.


Starting with patriotism, fewer Americans (only 38%) describe it as “extremely essential” to them, compared to 61%) in 2019 and 70% in 1998. Patriotism is rated as “somewhat important” by 35% of respondents, “not that significant” by 27% of respondents, and “not at all important” by 6% of respondents (11 percent).

Republicans (59%) are more likely than Democrats (23%) and independents (29%) to rank patriotism as a “very important” characteristic when categorized by party affiliation. Also, older persons are more likely than younger adults to value patriotism more highly.

Compared to 59 percent of seniors 65 and above, 23% of persons under 30 believe patriotism is “extremely important.”

Also, questions about respondents’ opinions of the U.S. were posed. Twenty-one percent believe the U.S. “stands above all countries in the globe,” and fifty percent believe it is “one of the best countries in the world, along with some others.”

Twenty-seven percent believe other nations are superior to the U.S. From 19% in 2016, the proportion of Americans who think other countries are superior to the U.S. has increased to 27%.

Most Americans are uncertain about how their children will fare in the country. A large majority of 78 percent say they “do not feel confident,” while only 21% say they “feel confident” that “life for our children’s generation will be better than it has been for us.”

A similar Gallup survey in 2022 revealed a record-low percentage of Americans who said they were “very pleased to be Americans.” The lowest rate since Gallup started monitoring the trend was in 2001; 38% of respondents in that poll stated they were “very proud” to be Americans.

Community And Religion

The Journal study joined the ranks of previous polls showing how religion’s importance is diminished in a country that continues to prioritize secular liberalism and personal fulfillment.

Just 39% of respondents believe religion is “extremely important” to them, although 49% of respondents affirm that they have no doubts that God exists. Similar to patriotism, religion has experienced a sharp decrease in popularity.

In 1998, 62% of Americans rated religion as “extremely important,” a sentiment that fell to 48% in 2019 before reaching this year’s low percentage.

Younger respondents (between 31 and 55 percent) rated religious importance less essential than older respondents. Republicans (53%) are also more likely to believe that religion is “extremely important” than Democrats (27%) and independents (38%) do.

How frequently do you go to religious services? Thirty-two percent of respondents answer “never,” while 19 percent say “less than once a year.” Thirty percent respond with “every week,” 8% with “many times a year,” 9% with “once or twice a year,” and 6% with “several times a week.”

In addition, 5% say “almost every week,” and 5% say “2-3 times a month.”

Recent surveys have revealed that Americans esteem their children’s religious ideas less and perceive a decline in religious influence in the country.

Several surveys indicate that church attendance and general religious belief have declined in the United States during the past few years.

It is not unexpected that the poll also discovered that Americans place less significance on the community because religion and society frequently go hand in hand.

According to the Journal, the proportion of Americans considering community involvement “extremely important” increased from 47 percent in 1998 to 62 percent in 2019 before falling to 27 percent this year.

In terms of political affiliation, Democrats (32%) and Republicans (23%) are slightly more likely than independents and Republicans to consider community involvement to be “extremely important” (25 percent).

Polling in recent years has revealed that many Americans report feeling lonely and isolated, which is the polar opposite of the community issue.

According to a 2021 poll, 18% of Americans said they could rely on just one or zero people for support in the face of rising nihilism and declining church attendance.

Birth Of Children

Given that the U.S. birthrate has been decreasing for decades and has recently bottomed out, Americans do not view having children as “extremely significant.”

Having children is ranked as “extremely important” by 30% of respondents, down from 43% in 2019 and 59% in 1998. Compared to the average, 23% of those under 30 consider having children “extremely important.”

Republicans (38%) are more inclined to agree that having children is very important than Democrats (26%) and independents (20%).

Up to the first decades of the 19th century, women had an average of more than seven children, according to the Population Reference Bureau.

“Following 1900, average fertility generally decreased, with only the post-World War II baby boom as an interruption.

According to a PRB report from 2021, the 1970s saw another decline in the total fertility rate (TFR), primarily due to postponed marriage, widespread contraceptive usage, and changes in abortion regulations.

The average number of children a woman would have in her lifetime based on the childbearing rates of women in a population in a particular year is known as the “total fertility rate.” The TFR for the United States fell to 1.64 in 2020, the lowest number ever noted.

In addition, a sizable portion of young Americans are unmarried, and Americans are postponing or putting off marriage in growing numbers.

According to a survey, only 34% of women in the same age range are unmarried, compared to 63% of men between 18 and 29.


According to the Journal, money is the only priority test that has increased in importance over the past 25 years. Compared to 41 percent in 2019 and 31 percent in 1998, 43 percent of Americans now describe money as a “very important” value.

Except for older adults, all age groups gave these aims and values significantly less weight than when pollsters questioned them in 1998 and 2019, the Journal reports.

But younger Americans, in particular, give little weight to these beliefs, many of which were essential to their parent’s life.

The percentage of people who feel money is significant is lowest among independents (36%), while it is highest among Democrats and Republicans (45% each).

Forty-four percent of Americans asked to explain their financial status said, “my finances are worse off than I expected for this stage of my life.”

Thirty-nine percent of respondents state that their financial status is “about where I expected them to be for this time in my life,” while 17 percent claim that things are going better financially than anticipated.

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