Poll: Support for Traditional American Values, Patriotism Declines

A Wall Street Journal-NORC poll has shown that the percentage of Americans who consider patriotism, religious faith and family “very important” is declining.

Except for “money”, which has increased in importance, support for all traditional American values has declined since 1998. Data also show that Democrats and young people don’t rank American traditional values as highly as Republicans and older adults.

Bill McInturff was a pollster who conducted a Journal survey similar to this that measured these values. He told the publication that the differences were “so dramatic, it paints an unexpected portrait of a changing America.” He speculated that the “toll of our political division, Covid, and the lowest level of economic confidence in decades are having a startling impact on our core values.

The Journal noted that “a variety of events have shaken or in some ways fractured” the nation since it first asked about unifying values. These included the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2008, and Donald Trump’s election.

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The Journal-NORC surveyed 1,019 respondents between March 1 and 13, mostly online. The margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level is +/- 4.1 percentage points.


Only 38 percent of Americans consider patriotism “very important”, a drop from 61 percent in 2019 to 70 percent in 1998. Three quarters of Americans consider patriotism “somewhat important,” while 35% say it is “somewhat important”, 27% say it is “not very important (16%) and 11% say it is “not at all essential” (11%).

Broken down by political affiliation, Republicans (59%) are more likely than Democrats (23%%) and independents (29%) to consider patriotism a “very important” value. Older adults also tend to be more concerned about patriotism that young adults. Twenty-three per cent of people under the age of 30 consider patriotism “very important”, compared with 59 percent for seniors 65 years and older.

The respondents were also asked how they see the United States. Respondents were also asked how they view the United States. Twenty-one per cent said it “stands above all other countries in the globe,” fifty percent said it was “one of the greatest nations in the world along with other countries,” and 27 percent said that other countries are better off than the United States. This is an increase from 19 percent in 2016.

Americans are generally extremely insecure about the future of their children’s lives in America. 21% say they feel more confident that the future for their children will be better than for them, but 78 percent of respondents say they don’t feel this way.

Similar Gallup polling in 2022 revealed that a record number of Americans are proud to be American. This was the lowest percentage since Gallup started tracking this trend in 2001.

Religion and community

The Journal poll joins other polls that indicate religion’s diminished role in a country that still prioritizes self-gratification over secular progressivism.

Only 39 percent believe religion is important to them, while 49 percent said they believed God exists. Religion, like patriotism has suffered a rapid decline in importance. In 1998, 62% of Americans considered religion “very important”. This sentiment dropped to 48% in 2019, before it reached its lowest point in 2019.

The percentage of respondents aged 31 to 55 years old who rate religion very important is lower than those aged 31 to 55 percent. Republicans (53%), Democrats (27%), and independents (38%) are more likely to declare that religion is “very significant.”

Nearly a third of respondents (32%) said “never,” while 19% said “less than once a calendar year.”

Recent polls have shown that Americans are less likely to trust their children’s religious beliefs and perceive a decline in religious influence in America. Another poll shows that the U.S. has seen a decline in church attendance and overall belief in God over the last few years.

Religion and community are often inseparable. So it’s not surprising that the survey found that Americans place less importance on community. According to the Journal, the percentage of Americans who consider community involvement “very important” has dropped from 47 percent to 62 percent in 1998 to 27 percent this year.

Independents and Republicans are both slightly less likely to consider community involvement “very important” than Democrats (32% each), but Democrats (32%).

Recent polling has revealed that many Americans feel lonely and isolated. In 2021, 18% of Americans felt they could rely solely on one person to support them in the face of increasing Nihilism and fewer church members.

Being a parent

Americans don’t consider having children “very important,” which is surprising considering that the U.S. birthrate declined for decades and has been at its lowest point in recent years.

Thirty percent of respondents consider having children “very important”, down from 43 per cent in 2019 and 59 per cent in 1998. Below the average are adults under 30 years of age, where 23 percent rate having children as “very Important.” Republicans (38%) are more likely to rank having children as very important than Democrats (26%), and independents (20%).

The Population Reference Bureau reports that women had an average of seven children up to the beginning of the 19th century.

“After 1900, the average fertility rate declined slowly, only being interrupted by the baby boom that followed World War II. In 2021, PRB reported that another drop in total fertility rate (TFR), occurred in the 1970s. This was due in large part in delayed marriage, widespread contraceptive usage, and changes to abortion laws. The total fertility rate refers to the average number of children that a woman will have over her lifetime, based on the annual childbearing rate of the population. The U.S. TFR fell to 1.64 in 2020, which is the lowest ever recorded.

Moreover, Americans are becoming more hesitant about or putting off marriage. Many young Americans are also single. A poll showed that 63 percent of Americans are single.