Americans’ Sense of Civic Duty Declining

Happy New Year!

Guess what this year will be about here at Dispatches? From the National Center for Policy Analysis:

A new poll from the Associated Press and research company GfK reveals that Americans’ attitudes toward civic duties are changing. The poll repeated questions from a 1984 University of Chicago poll, which surveyed Americans about their views on voting, volunteering, serving on a jury, reporting crime, speaking English and being informed. According to this year’s poll:

  • One-fourth of Americans under the age of 30 said that speaking English, volunteering or being informed about current events was not a civic duty.
  • Young Americans felt most strongly about reporting crimes, with two-thirds calling it “very important.” However, that is a drop from the 1984 poll when 86 percent of young Americans called crime reporting “very important.”
  • In 1984, 56 percent of Americans felt that keeping up with current events was very important; today, that figure is just 37 percent. One-fifth of respondents said there existed no civic obligation to be informed.

Read more: NCPA