As the nation celebrates Independence Day, a new survey finds most U.S. citizens are extremely proud to be American – but not quite as much as they were 15 years ago.
in a survey taken June 2-7, pollsters at Gallup discovered a slight majority, 54 percent, are “extremely proud.”
However, that number is slightly lower than in the past, down from a peak of 70 percent between 2002 and 2004, a time when the country was reeling from the terrorist attacks of September, 11, 2001.
While a majority of respondents said they are extremely proud to be American, another 27 percent reported they are “very proud.” Fourteen percent were “moderately proud,” 4 percent “only a little proud” and only 1 percent were “not at all proud.”
The time when the largest number of people were “extremely proud” to be an American was 2003, part of a surge in American patriotism that occurred soon after the start of the Iraq war.
Even as most Americans say they are proud to be American, there are certain groups more likely to be extremely so. for example, the amount of “extreme pride,” increases with each successive age group, starting with 43 percent for those under 30, up to a high of 64 percent among senior citizens.
There are also regional differences. Those living the South are more likely to be extremely proud, with a high of 61 percent. Those in the West were the lowest, at 46 percent.
As for political patriotism, Republicans are more likely to be extremely proud to be an American (68 percent) while 47 percent of Democrats say the same. Unsurprisingly, independents remain somewhere in between, at 53 percent.
Overall, Americans declaring they are “extremely proud” to be an American is nearly back to the level it was in early 2001, just prior to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Regardless, patriotism remains very much a part of the U.S. culture, even if the fervor has diminished slightly since 9/11.
Although more than half of Americans say they are extremely proud to be an American – slightly less than over a decade ago — nearly everyone (nine in 10) reported being at least moderately proud.
The 54 percent from early June is equivalent to the 55 percent surveyed almost 15 years ago, when Gallup first polled the question. Researchers say that figure suggests that patriotism is not a fixed attribute, but is likely affected by circumstances – such as times when U.S. is under pressure, as it was after 9/11 and during the lead up to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
Gallup conducted random telephone interviews nationwide of 1,527 adults, aged 18 and older. Both landline and cellular telephone numbers were used in the results. In the total sample – taken from all 50 states and the District of Columbia — the margin of error was +/- 3 percentage points.