U.S. adults are less satisfied with the influence of organized religion, as well as the moral and ethical climate of the nation, according to a Gallup report published February 4.
In early January, a representative sample of adults was asked to respond to seven aspects of living in the U.S, noting whether they were very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, very dissatisfied, somewhat dissatisfied or had no opinion.
A strong majority (81%) are dissatisfied with the moral and ethical climate, with 53% very and 28% somewhat dissatisfied. By comparison, only 3% were very satisfied, with 15% somewhat satisfied and 1% offering no opinion.
The 18% of satisfied respondents is down 14 points from 2020, 6-points below from the previous low in 2019 and less than half of the all-time high in 2002 of 47%.
The nation is more evenly divided when it comes to the influence of organized religion, with 48% satisfied (15% very; 33% somewhat), 49% dissatisfied (20% very; 29% somewhat) and the rest not having an opinion.
The number of respondents satisfied with the influence of organized religion is down 11 points from last year and 21 points below the all-time high of 69% in 2002. This is the first time since polling began in 2001 that fewer than half of adults expressed satisfaction with organized religion.
Democrats and Republicans were aligned in their lack of enthusiasm regarding the nation’s moral and ethical climate, with only 16% and 17%, respectively, expressing satisfaction.
They diverged in their perception of the influence of organized religion, with only 37% of Democrats saying they are satisfied, compared to 66% of Republicans.
The trend in these two areas reflects a downward trajectory across all seven aspects of life included in the survey. Declines in satisfaction from 2020 to 2021 ranged from a drop of 7% (the size and power of the federal government) to 17% (the overall quality of life).
The average satisfaction rate, factoring in all seven areas, declined to 39%, down from 53% last year and marking the lowest level of overall satisfaction since polling began. The all-time high for overall satisfaction was 67% in 2002.
The margin of error is plus-or-minus 4%.