Confidence in every major U.S. institution, save for military and small businesses, polled below historic averages according to a new Gallup survey.
“Americans’ confidence in all institutions over the last two years has been the lowest since Gallup began systematic updates of a larger set of institutions in 1993,” the report said.
Forty-two percent of the nation expressed “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in organized religion and religious institutions.
This ranks fourth out of 14 institutions – trailing only military (72 percent), small business (67 percent) and police (52 percent) – yet it is 13 points below its historic average.
This is also the lowest confidence ranking for religion in the poll’s history, 26 points below its all-time high of 68 percent in 1975.
Gallup provided additional context for these numbers, explaining that “the church ranked first or tied for first in all but one survey from 1973 through 1988. Since then, the military has been the top-ranked institution each year except 1997, when small business was first.”
Congress garnered the least confidence (8 percent). This is up one point from 2014 but 16 points below its historic average.
“Congress has ranked last each year since 2010, and a total of 12 times since 1973,” Gallup noted.
The next lowest institutions were television news and big businesses (tied at 21 percent), trailing the criminal justice system (23), newspapers and organized labor (tied at 24), banks (28), public schools (31), U.S. Supreme Court (32) and presidency (33), and the medical system (37).
The full Gallup report is available here.