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U.S. National Pride Falls to Record Low

U.S. National Pride Falls to Record Low

Story Highlights

  • 42% "extremely," and 21% "very," proud to be an American
  • Republicans' pride is down sharply in the past year
  • First time extreme pride among whites below 50%; nonwhites' is now 24%

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- American pride has continued its downward trajectory reaching the lowest point in the two decades of Gallup measurement. The new low comes at a time when the U.S. faces public health and economic crises brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and civil unrest following the death of George Floyd in police custody.

Although a majority of adults in the U.S. still say they are "extremely proud" (42%) or "very proud" (21%) to be American, both readings are the lowest they have been since Gallup's initial measurement in 2001.


Line graph. Ratings of US adults pride in being an American. One line is the percentage who have said they are extremely proud since 2001 and the other line is the extremely and very proud trend. Both ratings are at the lowest point now. The extremely/very proud line is 63% and extremely is 42%.

At the same time, 15% of Americans say they are "moderately proud," 12% "only a little proud" and 9% "not at all proud."

These latest data are from a May 28-June 4 poll, which also found 20% of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S., and presidential approval fell back to 39%. The poll's field period encompassed the arrests of the police officers charged in Floyd's death as well as the nationwide protests that were sparked by the incident and President Donald Trump's controversial responses to them.

The percentage of Americans expressing extreme pride in the country has been declining over the past 20 years, especially recently. Just over half, 55%, felt extreme pride in the initial January 2001 reading, prior to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In the three subsequent years, between 65% and 70% were extremely proud as the public rallied around the flag. By 2005, that reading fell to 61% and remained steady until 2015 when it dropped to 54%. The current reading is the sixth consecutive year since then that it has fallen to a new low in Gallup's trend.

Republicans' Pride Has Dropped in Past Year

Republicans have historically been more likely than Democrats and independents to say they are extremely proud to be American throughout the past 20 years. Although Republicans still report more acute pride than Democrats and independents, the latest poll finds a 9-percentage-point decrease in Republicans' national pride. This marks the largest year-over-year decline in the percentage of Republicans who say they are extremely proud. There was not meaningful change in the past year in the percentage of independents (41%) or Democrats (24%) who say they are extremely proud to be Americans.


Line graph. Ratings of US adults extreme pride in being an American among Republicans, Democrats and independents. Currently 67% of Republicans, 41% of independents and 24% of Democrats say they are extremely proud to be American. While Democrats and independents have remained the same as last year, Republican pride has fallen 11 percentage points, the largest drop among the group.

Expressions of national pride have become politicized in recent years, much like U.S. attitudes on other issues such as climate change and labor unions. Much of this has occurred since Trump became president in 2017, with Democratic pride falling off dramatically since then. Last year saw a record 54-point gap in the percentages of Republicans and Democrats who were extremely proud to be Americans. The gap is narrower this year -- 43 points -- because of the decline in Republican pride but remains much larger than before.

American Pride Among Other Key Demographic Groups

Since 2016, extreme pride is down among all major subgroups. And this measure of national pride is at its lowest among several demographic subgroups that have been consistently less likely to express extreme pride over the years. These groups, which are typically Democratic-leaning, include young adults aged 18-29, women, college graduates and nonwhites.

Extremely Proud to Be an American, by Subgroup
2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
% % % % %
Men 53 51 51 48 50
Women 50 51 44 43 34
White 54 55 54 50 49
Nonwhite 45 44 33 36 24
18 to 29 34 43 33 24 20
30 to 49 51 51 42 38 42
50 to 64 64 50 56 57 48
65 and older 55 60 58 63 53
College graduate 47 47 39 41 34
Not a college graduate 54 54 52 47 46

Notably, extreme pride among whites has fallen below 50% for the first time and nonwhites' is 24%. Racially charged incidents involving police and the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement have increasingly contributed to a national discussion about the challenges blacks face in society and likely also factor into the decrease in American pride among nonwhites.

View complete question responses and trends (PDF download).

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