Smaller Majority
Politics

Smaller Majority "Extremely Proud" to Be an American

by Art Swift

Story Highlights

  • 54% say they are "extremely proud"; 27% are "very proud"
  • Lower percentage "extremely proud" than immediately after 9/11
  • Older Americans, Southerners and Republicans most proud

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As Independence Day approaches, most in the U.S. say they are proud to be an American, including a slight majority, 54%, who are "extremely proud." The percentage saying they are "extremely proud" is slightly lower than in recent years and down from peaks at and around 70% between 2002 and 2004, after 9/11.

Proud to Be an American

In addition to the 54% who are extremely proud to be an American, 27% say they are "very proud," 14% say they are "moderately proud," 4% are "only a little proud" and 1% state that they are "not at all proud."

These data are from a June 2-7 poll. Gallup has asked this question regularly since 2001. The highest percentage saying they were "extremely proud" to be an American came in 2003, in the months after the Iraq war began and not long after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when Americans' patriotism surged. It is likely that the aftermath of 9/11 may have produced an anomaly in the levels of "extreme pride" in patriotism.

Older Americans, Southerners and Republicans Lead in "Extreme Pride"

While most Americans are proud to be an American, certain groups are especially likely to say they are extremely proud. "Extreme pride" rises for each succeeding age group, from a low of 43% among those under 30 to a high of 64% among senior citizens.

Extreme pride also varies regionally, from a high of 61% in the South to a low of 46% in the West.

Sixty-eight percent of Republicans say they are extremely proud to be an American, much higher than the 47% of Democrats who say the same. As usual, independents are in the middle, at 53%.

How proud are you to be an American --

Bottom Line

Americans' likelihood of saying that they are "extremely proud" to be an American has returned to where it was in early 2001, before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. While slightly more than half of Americans are now extremely proud to be an American, more than nine in 10 are at least moderately proud. This suggests that patriotism is still very much alive in the U.S., even if the fervor is slightly less than it was after 9/11.

The reading of 54% in early June is about the same as the 55% recorded when Gallup first asked the question nearly 15 years ago, at the tail end of Bill Clinton's presidency. This indicates that patriotism is not necessarily a fixed characteristic, but can vary depending on circumstances -- most notably when the U.S. is under duress, as was the case after the events of 9/11 and the build-up to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted June 2-7, 2015, with a random sample of 1,527 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

View complete question responses and trends.

Learn more about how Gallup Poll Social Series works.

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