As Americans around the nation celebrate the Fourth of July — a holiday dedicated to celebrating freedom and our independence from England — the overall attitude of the country is down, according to a recently published survey by Gallup.
A survey released this month found that Americans are less satisfied with the freedom to choose what they do with their lives, Gallup found. Since 2006, Americans’ attitude toward freedom has dropped 12 percent from 91 percent in 2006 to 79 percent in 2013.
Additionally, the amount of Americans dissatisfied with their freedom to choose what they do with their lives has doubled from 9 percent in 2006 to 21 percent in 2013.
“The decline in perceived freedom among Americans could be attributed to the U.S. economy,” Gallup said. “Many Americans continue to lack confidence in the economy and see it as one of the biggest problems facing the country.”
However, Gallup said the overall attitude about the economy appears to be improving after the Great Recession and basing the decline in attitude toward America’s freedoms is not the full reason.
“Another possible explanation for the decline in freedom is how Americans feel about their government,” Gallup said. “Gallup asks an additional question worldwide about whether people believe corruption is widespread throughout their government. This item is related to perceptions of freedom at the national level.”
That general attitude toward government corruption in the United States, Gallup found, has also been increasing since 2006. In the seven-year period, attitudes toward government corruption have increased from 59 percent in 2006 to 79 percent in 2013.
Among the 108 countries surveyed on freedom by Gallup, the United States ranks 36th, falling behind countries such as New Zealand (94 percent), Australia (93 percent) and Cambodia (93 percent).