U.S. confidence in national institutions remains near record lows, a Gallup poll found, with 10 of the 14 seeing a decade of decline in trust.
“Americans’ confidence in key U.S. institutions has remained relatively low since 2007,” the report noted. “That year, the average for the 14 institutions Gallup has asked about annually since 1993 dropped to 32 percent from 38 percent in 2006.”
Confidence in organized religion, which saw a record low of 42 percent in 2015, declined for the fourth year in a row to reach a new low of 41 percent.
This represents an 11-percent drop since 2006, a decline surpassed only by banks that moved from 49 to 27 percent. Even so, organized religion is the third most trusted institution behind military (73 percent) and police (56 percent).
The least trusted U.S. institutions are television news (21 percent), newspapers (20 percent), big business (18 percent) and Congress (9 percent).
While confidence in big business has seen a net change of zero since 2006, the other three institutions have experienced a 10-point decline.
Gallup commented: “Each institution has its own specific probable causes for this situation. But the loss of faith in so many at one time, while Americans are becoming more positive in other ways, suggests there are reasons that reach beyond any individual institution.
“The task of identifying and dealing with those reasons in a way that rebuilds confidence is one of the more important challenges facing the nation’s leaders in the years ahead.”