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Negative View of U.S. Moral Values Hit All-Time High

Nearly half of U.S. adults (49 percent) rate the moral values of the U.S. as “poor,” according to a Gallup survey released on June 1.

Only 14 percent rated the state of the nation’s moral values as “excellent / good,” the lowest total since 2006, while 37 percent responded “fair,” a one-point increase from last year.

“Americans have always viewed the state of U.S. morals more negatively than positively. But the latest figures are the worst to date,” Gallup said. “In earlier polls on the measure, Americans were about as likely to rate the country’s moral standing as only fair as they were to say it was poor. But in 10 of the past 12 annual polls since 2007, Americans have been decidedly more likely to rate it as poor.”

When asked about the direction of the nation’s moral values, 77 percent said they were “getting worse,” while 18 percent said “getting better.”

Pessimism reached a high point in 2007 when 82 percent responded, “getting worse,” declining to 69 percent in 2011 and then slowly increasing since then.

U.S. adults were most optimistic in 2002 when 24 percent felt the nation’s moral values were “getting better,” declining to a low of 11 percent from 2006 to 2008 before increasing to 22 percent in 2011 and remaining relatively plateaued since then.

“Though the question wording makes no reference to politics or the president, Americans seem to rate U.S. moral values through their own partisan lenses – with both Democrats and Republicans having become less negative after the election of a president of their own party over the past decade,” Gallup noted.

The full report is available here.