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Gallup: Americans’ Faith in Institutions Continues to Crumble

Gallup: Americans’ Faith in Institutions Continues to Crumble

A new Gallup poll finds Americans growing increasingly cynical about the state of their institutions, with their confidence in everything from Congress to houses of worship in decline over the previous year.  Of the 16 major institutions surveyed, 11 saw significant decline, a few saw minor decline, but none saw any improvement.

The Supreme Court and the Presidency saw the biggest overall drops since 2021, with confidence in the Court dropping 11 points (from 36 to 25 percent) while confidence in the Presidency dropped 15 points (from 38 to 23 percent). Of all institutions surveyed, Congress warranted the least confidence at just seven percent — a five percent drop from last year.

On the other end of the spectrum, Americans still have a lot of faith in small business, with 68 percent saying they trust them — just a slight decline from 70 percent in 2021. Likewise, the military enjoys a 64 percent confidence rating, down just five points from 69 percent in 2021. The police (45 percent), the medical system (38 percent) and organized religion (31 percent) make up the rest of America’s most trusted institutions, although all of these have seen a decline in recent years.

The one institution that held steady with no decline in trust are labor unions, which stuck at 28 percent.

Gallup’s been asking this question for three decades, and this year marks a low point for all three branches of the federal government. It’s also a historic low for church or organized religion (31 percent), newspapers (16 percent), the criminal justice system (14 percent), big business (14 percent) and the police.

In other words, Americans just don’t have faith in the traditional institutional staples of our society like we used to, and this drop appears to hold true across political parties. Gallup notes that these numbers are likely to improve as the economy fluctuates and inflation stabilizes, but expresses skepticism about a full rebound. “It is unclear if confidence will ever get back to the levels Gallup measured in decades past, even with an improved economy,” the study cautions.

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