More than half of young Americans do not trust their fellow citizens: report

"When people trust their fellow citizens, they are less likely to feel anxious and fearful because they are less inclined to view the social environment as threatening."

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

A new report from the Archbridge Institute has found that a majority of young Americans are distrustful of their fellow Americans, with the report noting that a high trust in fellow citizens results in "human progress and flourishing."

The report, titled "The Social Power Of Patriotism: Americans Who Are Proud Of Their National Identity Are More Likely To Trust Their Fellow Americans" found that just 48 percent of Americans between the ages of 15 to 29 are trusting of their fellow countrymen.

This increases with age, jumping above 50 percent in Americans 30 to 44, and reaching its peak of 70 percent in Americans 60 and older.

For the report, Archbridge partnered with the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago and Amerispeak to survey 2,073 respondents between May 26 and 31, 2022.

"Social trust also plays a vital role in human progress and flourishing by reducing a defensive mindset and encouraging a growth-oriented mindset," the report states. "When people trust their fellow citizens, they are less likely to feel anxious and fearful because they are less inclined to view the social environment as threatening."

"They are thus more likely to engage in the type of explorative, creative, cooperative, collaborating, and entrepreneurial activities that make society thrive. Indeed, social trust promotes social cohesion and people in socially cohesive societies enjoy greater psychological wellbeing," the report adds.

The report also found that Americans who are proud of their nationality are more likely to be trusting of their fellow citizens. 66 percent of Americans who are proud of their nationality said that they are trusting of their other Americans, while 46 percent of those who aren’t proud.

This comes as young people are inundated with messaging that being an American is bad, many of whom grew up through the times of the "Me Too" movement and cancel culture online.

A 2020 poll from Gallup found that young Americans are the least likely group by age to be proud of their Nationality. Just 20 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 29 were "extremely proud to be an American."

The Me Too movement spread following numerous sexual abuse accusations being leveled against American film producer Harvey Weinstein. In its wake, many people began to go public with their own claims of sexual abuse, resulting in the firing, expulsions, and shunning of the accused, whether they were guilty or not.

Following close on its coattails was the appearance of cancel culture, in which one wrong step by a person, posted to social media either by the original person or by others, could result in banning them from their social media accounts, or worse.

In today’s culture of shunning people for even the slightest of missteps, it’s no wonder that young Americans, who are largely entrenched online, are distrustful of their fellow citizens.


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