42% «extremely,» and 21% «very,» proud to be an American
Republicans’ pride is down sharply in the past year
First time extreme pride among whites below 50%; nonwhites’ is now 24%
American pride has continued its downward trajectory reaching the lowest point in the two decades of Gallup measurement. The new low comes at a time when the U.S. faces public health and economic crises brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and civil unrest following the death of George Floyd in police custody.
Although a majority of adults in the U.S. still say they are «extremely proud» (42%) or «very proud» (21%) to be American, both readings are the lowest they have been since Gallup’s initial measurement in 2001.
At the same time, 15% of Americans say they are «moderately proud,» 12% «only a little proud» and 9% «not at all proud.»
These latest data are from a May 28-June 4 poll, which also found 20% of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S., and presidential approval fell back to 39%. The poll’s field period encompassed the arrests of the police officers charged in Floyd’s death as well as the nationwide protests that were sparked by the incident and President Donald Trump’s controversial responses to them.
The percentage of Americans expressing extreme pride in the country has been declining over the past 20 years, especially recently. Just over half, 55%, felt extreme pride in the initial January 2001 reading, prior to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In the three subsequent years, between 65% and 70% were extremely proud as the public rallied around the flag. By 2005, that reading fell to 61% and remained steady until 2015 when it dropped to 54%. The current reading is the sixth consecutive year since then that it has fallen to a new low in Gallup’s trend.
Republicans’ Pride Has Dropped in Past Year
Republicans have historically been more likely than Democrats and independents to say they are extremely proud to be American throughout the past 20 years. Although Republicans still report more acute pride than Democrats and independents, the latest poll finds a 9-percentage-point decrease in Republicans’ national pride. This marks the largest year-over-year decline in the percentage of Republicans who say they are extremely proud. There was not meaningful change in the past year in the percentage of independents (41%) or Democrats (24%) who say they are extremely proud to be Americans.
Expressions of national pride have become politicized in recent years, much like U.S. attitudes on other issues such as climate change and labor unions. Much of this has occurred since Trump became president in 2017, with Democratic pride falling off dramatically since then. Last year saw a record 54-point gap in the percentages of Republicans and Democrats who were extremely proud to be Americans. The gap is narrower this year — 43 points — because of the decline in Republican pride but remains much larger than before.
American Pride Among Other Key Demographic Groups
Since 2016, extreme pride is down among all major subgroups. And this measure of national pride is at its lowest among several demographic subgroups that have been consistently less likely to express extreme pride over the years. These groups, which are typically Democratic-leaning, include young adults aged 18-29, women, college graduates and nonwhites.
Notably, extreme pride among whites has fallen below 50% for the first time and nonwhites’ is 24%. Racially charged incidents involving police and the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement have increasingly contributed to a national discussion about the challenges blacks face in society and likely also factor into the decrease in American pride among nonwhites.
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