The U.S. is among 17 advanced economies in which most adults embrace change over sticking to traditions, according to a Pew Research Center report published May 15.

More than six in 10 (63%) U.S. adults “say their country will be better off in the future if it is open to change in its way of life,” compared to 36% who say the nation’s future will be better if it “sticks to traditions.”

The U.S. percentage is very similar to the median (62%) of the 19 advanced economies featured in the survey, where only two nations – Greece (40%) and Hungary (49%) – didn’t have a majority say being open to change is better than sticking to traditions.

South Korea had the highest percentage of adults say they are open to change (77%), followed by Singapore (73%), Australia (71%) and the U.K. (69%).

Significant differences in U.S. views were found based age, political ideology and religion.

The U.S. had the highest percentage difference between respondents’ views based on political ideology, with 28% on the right saying it would be better for the nation to embrace change, compared to 74% of the center and 91% of the left.

Australia had the next highest percentage difference, with 52% of the right saying the nation would be better if it embraced change, compared to 69% of the center and 90% of the right. Belgium had the lowest percentage difference among those saying embracing change would be best for their country: 62% (right), 66% (center) and 70% (left).

In every nation surveyed, adults between 18 and 29 had the highest percentage say their country should embrace change rather than stick to traditions.

In the U.S., 78% affirmed this view, compared to 68% of adults 30-49 and 53% who are 50 and older. This is the fifth highest percentage difference between the youngest and oldest respondents, with Greece having the highest percentage difference (67% adults 18-29; 37% 30-49 and 34% 50 and older).

“Religiously unaffiliated people are often more likely than their religious counterparts to say openness to changes will make their country better off in the future,” the report said. “Eight-in-10 religiously unaffiliated Americans hold this view, compared with only 55% of those who identify with a religion. White evangelicals in the U.S. are particularly unlikely to take this view: Only one-in-three say their country will be better off if it is open to changes.”

The full report is available here.

Share This