Trust and Distrust in America

Trust and Distrust in America

Majorities of Americans believe that trust in the federal government (75 percent) and their fellow citizens (71 percent) has declined over the past twenty years, making it more difficult to solve problems, a report from the finds. According to the report, Trust and Distrust in America ( or , 84 pages), the top factors in Americans'declining trust in government were poor outcomes and/or corruption (36 percent), Donald Trump (14 percent), the news media (10 percent), and social trends such as rising inequality and "the spread of individualism" (9 percent). Of the respondents who believe that interpersonal trust in America has declined, 43 percent cited some kind of social ill as a factor, including isolation and loneliness (14 percent), greed and dishonesty (11 percent), and crime, violence, drugs and scams (9 percent); political polarization or government performance (16 percent); technology, the Internet, and social media (12 percent); and misinformation and the news media (11 percent). The survey also found that 64 percent of respondents think that declining trust in government makes it harder to solve the nation's problems, with 41 percent saying that "Americans' lack of confidence in the federal government is a very big problem," 70 percent saying that Americans' low level of trust in their fellow citizens makes it harder to solve problems, and 25 percent seeing declining trust as a big problem.

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May 19, 2019