Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

4 Jul, 2013

Most Still Proud to Be American But 71% say Declaration Signers Would Be Disappointed

by Frank Newport

PRINCETON, NJ — July 4, 2013 – Gallup – As the United States celebrates Independence Day, most of its adult residents continue to say they are proud to be an American, including 57% who are extremely proud and 28% who are very proud. This high level of pride in being an American has varied only moderately over the past 12 years since the question was first asked, but has been lower since 2005 than it was in the years prior.

Proud to be an American

The latest results are from a June 1-4 Gallup survey. An additional 10% say they are moderately proud to be an American, leaving 3% who say they are “only a little proud” and 1% who say they are “not at all proud.”

There are few differences by age on this pride dimension, while those in the South are slightly more likely than those in the East and West to say they are proud. Conservatives and Republicans are also slightly more likely to say they are proud than are liberals and Democrats.

Proud to be an American, by age, region, ideology, and party ID

Americans Believe Signers of the Declaration Would Be Disappointed

Despite their widespread national pride, Americans evince a much more negative response when asked if the signers of the Declaration of Independence would be pleased or disappointed by the way the United States has turned out. Seventy-one percent of Americans say the signers would be disappointed, while 27% say they would be pleased.

Americans have become significantly less positive in response to this question, down from a high of 54% who said the signers would be pleased in 2001.

Would the signers of the Declaration of Independence be pleased or disappointed by the way the United States has turned out?

Older Americans, those living in the Midwest, conservatives, and Republicans are relatively less likely to say the signers would be pleased than their counterparts. Conservatives and Republicans also were less likely to say the signers would have been pleased in 2001 — when George W. Bush was president — but the partisan and ideological differences are larger today. This indicates that Republicans’ and conservatives’ growing disenchantment with a Democratic president could be one of the underlying factors in the decline in the percentage of Americans who say the signers would be pleased.

Signers pleased/disappointed by age, region, ideology, and party ID


Americans are now much less likely than they were a decade ago to say the signers of the Declaration of Independence would be pleased with how the country has turned out. This is most likely an outgrowth of Americans’ current level of negativity toward their government, including the record-low level of confidence Americans have in Congress and the significant percentage of Americans who cite dissatisfaction with government as the third most important problem facing the country today. Still, the signers might feel more gratified if they knew that 237 years after they signed the Declaration of Independence, 85% of U.S. residents say they are proud to be an American.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted June 1-4 and June 20-24, 2013, with random samples of 1,529 and 2,048 adults, respectively, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

For results based on each of these two total samples of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones and cellular phones, with interviews conducted in Spanish for respondents who are primarily Spanish-speaking. Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by region. Landline and cellphone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.

Samples are weighted to correct for unequal selection probability, nonresponse, and double coverage of landline and cell users in the two sampling frames. They are also weighted to match the national demographics of gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education, region, population density, and phone status (cellphone only/landline only/both, and cellphone mostly). Demographic weighting targets are based on the March 2012 Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older U.S. population. Phone status targets are based on the July-December 2011 National Health Interview Survey. Population density targets are based on the 2010 census. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

View methodology, full question results, and trend data.