Confidence in major US institutions has dipped. This is per a recent survey from Gallup, which found that an average of one-third of US adults say they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the 14 institutions analyzed, down from 36% in 2020.
Nearly all of the institutions examined in the survey experienced a decrease in the share of adults who expressed confidence in the institution. One example is technology companies. In 2020, about one-third (32%) of US adults claimed to have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in tech companies. This year, that percentage has dropped to 29% and mirrors a previous Gallup survey that shows that the share of US adults with a positive view of big tech companies has fallen.
Small business, which enjoyed a lift in confidence last year from 68% in 2019 to 75%, saw confidence fall to 70% this year. However, only 7% of adults say they have “very little” confidence in small business.
Even with the dip in confidence, small business still garners far more trust among US adults than big business. In 2019, fewer than one-quarter (23%) had a high level of confidence in big business. That share has now dropped to 18%.
The medical system experienced one of the biggest percentage-point drops of the 14 institutions analyzed. After seeing the share of US adults with “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence jump from 36% in 2019 to 51% in 2020, it now stands at 44%. Banks also saw a lift in confidence between 2019 (30%) and 2020 (38%); however, the percentage of adults having high confidence in this institution slipped to 33%.
Although Edelman’s Trust Barometer found that traditional media is still one of the most trusted sources of news and information — second only to search engines — two forms of traditional media, newspapers and television news, do not have the confidence of most US adults. Some 21% have a high level of confidence in newspapers (down from 24% last year), while fewer (16%) have it in TV news. What’s more, of the institutions analyzed, TV news has the largest share (48%) of respondents who expressed “very little” confidence.
To see how other institutions fared, read more here.
About the Data: Findings are based on a June-July 2021 survey of 1,381 US adults, ages 18+.