What do Americans prioritize?
Let’s find out.
A recent survey reveals significant reorganization in the prioritization of traditional American values. It also outlines that the only priority that has increased in importance over the past 25 years for Americans is money. Additionally, the survey highlights a deep political divide in the country regarding social trends, with significant differences in views based on political affiliation.
The study conducted by the Wall Street Journal-NORC has found that American values such as patriotism, religious faith, and having children are becoming less important to the American people. The research, which surveyed a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults in March 2023, revealed that only 38% of participants considered patriotism to be of great importance, and 39% expressed the same sentiment regarding religion. These figures indicate a significant decline compared to the results from the Journal’s previous survey in 1998, when 70% of respondents considered patriotism to be highly important, and 62% held the same view about religion.
The research also found that the percentage of Americans who consider values such as having children, community involvement, and hard work to be highly important has decreased. Additionally, while four years ago, 80% of Americans deemed tolerance for others to be very important, this number has since dropped to 58%.
The only priority that has increased in importance over the past two and a half decades, according to the Journal’s survey, is money. In the most recent poll, 43% of respondents cited it as a very important priority, up from 31% in 1998.
The survey revealed significant differences in views on social issues based on political affiliation. Over half of Republicans believed that society had gone too far in promoting racial and ethnic diversity in businesses, while only 7% of Democrats shared this view. On the other hand, 61% of Democrats thought that diversity efforts hadn’t gone far enough, compared to 14% of Republicans.
Regarding the acceptance of transgender individuals in society, 75% of Republicans believed that society had gone too far, while 56% of Democrats believed that society hadn’t gone far enough.
Another key finding from the survey is that 63% of all participants believed that companies shouldn’t take public stands on social and political issues, while 36% thought that companies should. The breakdown by political affiliation showed that 80% of Republicans opposed companies taking public stands, while 56% of Democrats supported the idea.
The study reviews that 50% of the participants expressed their dislike for using gender-neutral pronouns like “they” or “them” while addressing others, while only 18% of them had a positive view of it. Among the respondents, 30% of those below the age of 35 viewed the practice favorably, whereas only 9% of seniors shared the same opinion.
The survey indicates a deep political divide in the country regarding social trends, and while younger Americans prioritize values differently than their predecessors, the shift in attitudes is not limited to them. The events of the past 25 years have shaken and fractured the nation, leading to a decline in the importance of traditional values that have shaped the national identity.
- Wall Street Journal-NORC Survey: https://www.apnorc.org/projects/Pages/HTML%20Reports/wall-street-journal-norc-center-for-public-affairs-research-poll-american-attitudes-toward-values-and-identity.aspx
- Wall Street Journal article on the survey: https://www.wsj.com/articles/americans-place-greater-importance-on-money-over-traditional-values-11650602400
- CNN article on the survey: https://www.cnn.com/2023/03/28/politics/american-values-patriotism-religion-decline-poll/index.html
- Fox News article on the survey: https://www.foxnews.com/us/americans-less-patriotic-religious-than-before
- Reuters article on the survey: https://www.reuters.com/world/us/americans-see-money-rising-importance-while-traditional-values-fall-survey-2023-03-28/
- NBC News article on the survey: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/americans-say-money-ranks-high-while-patriotism-faith-are-less-n1282394