Nearly half (47%) of U.S. adults believe the state of moral values in the nation is currently poor, with a majority (67%) expressing the sense that the country’s moral values are getting worse, according to a Gallup report published June 16.
Neither figure is an all-time high. In 2018, 49% rated the nation’s moral values as poor, and in 2007, 82% felt the state of moral values was getting worse.
Only 15% of respondents in 2021 said moral values were good (down 3 points from 2020), and 1% excellent (down 1 point), while 37% said fair (down 1 point).
Since Gallup began polling these questions in 2002, the average for each response to the question about the state of moral values is as follows: excellent (1.7%); good (16.7%); fair (38.2%); poor (42.3%).
For the question about whether moral values are getting better or worse, the average responses during this time period were: getting better (19.2%); getting worse (73.4%); same (5.2%).
Sorting responses based on political affiliation revealed partisan divides.
A majority (66%) of Republican respondents said the nation’s moral values were poor and 92% felt moral values are getting worse. This represents a 26-point increase from 2020 for both questions, and both figures are all-time highs.
The number of Democrat respondents who said the nation’s moral values are poor dropped 12 points to 30% from 2020 to 2021 while those who said moral values were improving jumped 22 points to 46% (an all-time high).
The margin of error is plus-or-minus 4%.