A record-high 50% of Americans rate the overall state of moral values in the U.S. as "poor," and another 37% say it is "only fair." Just 1% think the state of moral values is "excellent," and 12% think it's "good."
These are some of the findings of the Gallup May 2-22 Values and Belief poll.
The current "poor" rating is the highest on record by 1 percentage point, Gallup notes.
On average since 2002, 43% of U.S. adults have rated moral values in the U.S. as poor, 38% as fair, and 18% as excellent or good.
There are some interesting political divisions. Republicans' poor rating of moral values, at 72%, is at its highest point since the inception of the trend and up sharply since former President Donald Trump left office.
By contrast, 36% of Democrats say the state of moral values is poor, while a 48% plurality rate it as only fair, and 15% as excellent or good.
Independents' view of the current state of moral values is relatively stable and closer to Democrats' than Republicans' rating, with 44% saying it is poor, 40% only fair, and 16% excellent or good, Gallup finds.
A large majority, 78%, say morals are getting worse and just 18% say they are getting better, with majorities of both political groups saying it is deteriorating. The 93% of Republicans who think moral values are getting worse is the highest measured for the group by 1 point and reflects a sharp uptick in 2021, when Joe Biden became president.
Democrats have become significantly more pessimistic since Biden's first year in office, when 49% thought values were getting worse. Independents' expectations are similar to Democrats' — 74% say they are getting worse.
Gallup asked respondents to name the most important problem affecting the state of moral values in the U.S. More Americans cite consideration of others (18%) than any other issue, as was the case when Gallup previously asked this question 10 years ago.
Racism, lack of faith/religion, lack of morals, sense of entitlement, and lack of family structure are mentioned by 5% to 8% of U.S. adults. Racism was less commonly mentioned in 2012 than it is now.
Among Republicans, nearly as many (11%) name a lack of faith or religion as the most important moral problem. Democrats (10%) and independents (8%), meanwhile, are at least twice as likely as Republicans (4%) to mention racism as a top moral problem.
"Americans' views of the state of moral values in the U.S. are dismal, and their expectations for the future are grim," Gallup concludes.
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