WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans are closely split in their reactions to the term "big business," with 52% saying they have a positive view of it and 48% a negative view. Attitudes about big business have been fairly steady over the past decade, except in 2012 when a larger majority, 58%, viewed it positively.
The latest ratings of big business are fairly uniform across most subgroups of Americans, including gender, race and household income -- but there are a few notable differences:
A majority of adults aged 18 to 29 have a negative opinion of big business, while at least slight majorities of all older age groups view it positively.
Adults with no college education are more positive about big business than are those with some college or higher education levels.
Views of big business vary strongly by political party and ideology, with about three-quarters of Republicans and conservatives viewing it positively while about two-thirds of Democrats and liberals view it negatively.
|College graduate only||50||50|
|Gallup, Oct. 1-13, 2019|
In contrast with Americans' mixed views of big business, nearly all (97%) have a positive view of "small business." And more than nine in 10 Americans have consistently viewed small business positively since Gallup first asked about it in 2010.
Gallup also asks Americans about their confidence in big business as part of its annual "Confidence in Institutions" update. In the latest measure, from June 2019, 23% said they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in big business, 41% said they have "some," 32% have "very little" and 2% "none."
For more on this topic, read Gallup's in-depth report on what Americans think of socialism and government power and how U.S. generational groups differ in their views of capitalism, socialism and various other economic systems.
Gallup's full trend on big business is available on the Big Business "Topics A to Z" page.