America’s trust deficit

Compared to Australia, the United States has a trust problem.

Recent polling we commissioned from YouGov, surveying both Australians and Americans, showed Australians consistently reporting higher levels of trust than Americans. It didn’t matter what we asked about — the national government, state governments, family and friends, media, political parties — Australians appear to be more trusting of our institutions than Americans are of theirs.

This lower level of trust that we observed in the United States across institutions largely stemmed from the exceptionally low levels of trust in institutions expressed by our Republican respondents. Both Democrats and Republicans were equally likely to trust family and friends, but they differed markedly when evaluating key institutions of society. Of the ten we asked about, on only one – family and friends – did a majority of Republicans say they had a little or lot of trust.

The Sun Herald has a piece covering these findings, and there is more detail on the US Studies Centre website.


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