Gallup: 72% of Americans Think the Country’s Moral Values Are ‘Getting Worse’

By Taylor Knopf | May 22, 2013 | 12:50pm EDT

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( – A large majority of Americans hold a bleak outlook on the state of morality in the United States, as 72% said the nation’s moral values are “getting worse,” and only 20% said that moral values are “getting better,” according to a recent Gallup survey.

The poll specifically showed that Americans who attend church weekly, are married, or are Republican, were the most negative about the country’s moral direction. But even Democrats, people who attend church infrequently, and the unmarried had high negative outlooks about the nation’s moral values.

In the telephone survey of 1,535 adults in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, Gallup asked, “Right now, do you think the state of moral values in the country as a whole is getting better or getting worse?”

72% said “getting worse”; 20% said “getting better; and 6% said things were the same.

When broken down into Demographic groups, “Republicans are far more likely that Democrats and independents to have negative assessments of moral values; still, majorities of all partisan groups have negative views of morals,” reported Gallup. “Also, Americans who are married, those who are upper-  and middle-income, and those who attend church regularly tend to have more negative views of moral values in the U.S. than their counterparts.”

In the moral values summary by demographic group, the poll showed the following:


Democrat                   56% negative            18%positive

Independent             68% negative            12% positive

Republican               87% negative            5% positive


Weekly church attendance   78% negative    9% positive

Nearly weekly attendance   73% negative    9% positive

Less often                    63% negative          15% positive


Married                       76% negative       11% positive

Not married               62% negative          14% positive


“No major demographic group evaluates moral values positively overall,” said Gallup, “though Democrats, lower-income Americans, those who are not married, and those who attend church less regularly hold slightly more positive views.”

The telephone survey was conducted May 2-7, 2013, and has a margin of sampling error of +/-  3 percentage points.

Michael W. Chapman  contributed to this report.

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