A strong majority (81%) of U.S. adults rated the honesty and ethical standards of nurses as “high” or “very high,” according to a Gallup report published Jan. 12.

While this is an eight-point drop from 2020, it is the highest percentage of all 22 professions surveyed – a spot nurses have retained every year, save for 2001, since 1999.

Only 3% of respondents rated nurses’ ethics / honesty as “low” or “very low,” while 16% rated it to be “average.”

Medical doctors (67%) had the next highest percentage of high / very high ratings, followed by grade-school teachers (64%), pharmacists (63%), military offices (61%), police officers (53%) and day care providers (50%).

No other profession received more than 50% of high / very high ratings from survey respondents.

Around one-third (36%) of U.S. adults said the ethics and honesty of clergy was high / very high (8% very high and 28% high), while 48% rated clergy as average and 14% low / very low (4% very low and 10% low).

This high / very high rating ranks clergy ninth in the 2021 survey – one spot behind judges at 38% and one spot ahead of auto mechanics at 35%.

Clergy high / very high ratings were down three-points from 2020, and this is the lowest all-time rate – surpassing the previous low of 37% in 2018.

Also reaching all-time lows in high / very high ratings were grade-school teachers (67%), military officers (61%), judges (38%) and TV reporters (14%).

“The clergy’s new low is the continuation of a two-decade slide, including a three-point slip since last year and a six-point decline since 2017,” the report said. “Longer term, clergy’s image has diminished among both major party groups, most likely related to the broader societal trend of reduced religiosity.”

Republicans were more likely to rate the ethics and honesty of clergy as high / very high than Democrats by a 41% to 32% margin. This is the second highest ratings’ gap behind police officers, with 71% of Republicans rating them as high / very high compared to 36% of Democrats.

Lobbyists had the lowest high / very high ratings (5%), just ahead of car salespeople (8%) and members of Congress (9%).

Lobbyists (63%) and members of Congress (62%) had the highest percentage of low / very low ratings. No other profession had more than 50% of low / very low ratings.

The full report is available here. The topline results, which note a plus-or-minus 4% margin of error, are available here.

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