Americans' trust in public institutions falls to lowest level since 1979

Congress repeats this year as the body worst rated by citizens. It is trusted by only 8% of Americans.

A new Gallup poll has revealed that Americans' trust in the nation's major public institutions is at its lowest point since 1979. The data exposes that citizens' "faith" in government agencies stands at just 26% (down ten percentage points from 2020):

Americans' trust in institutions in 2023 represents a continuation of the historic trust deficit recorded a year ago. None of the 15 institutions rated annually have managed to repair their images, and many remained at or near their historic lows.

230706 Confidence Institutions by Verónica Silveri

In 2022, the same survey reported that 11 of the 16 institutions analyzed had experienced "significant drops in public confidence." Congress was the most affected entity last year and repeats the same position in 2023.

Trust in institutions and the great partisan divide

Among the institutions with the least trust from citizens are the Presidency (26%); the Courts (27%); the Criminal Justice system ( 17%) and Congress (8%), which is the only one in single digits. This year, public schools obtained the lowest level of confidence ever recorded by Gallup (26%).

At the other end of the scale, the survey showed that the Armed Forces enjoy a high level of trust by citizens (60%). Forty-three percent said the same of the Police.

Confidence in some of the institutions reflected a large partisan gap:

- The Presidency presented a 39 percentage points difference. Forty-seven percent of Democrats have confidence in Joe Biden's performance compared to just 8% of Republicans.

- Police (20 percentage points). Sixty percent of Republicans trust law enforcement compared to 40 percent of Democrats.

- Supreme Court (28 percentage points). 43% of Republicans trust the body compared to 15% of Republicans.