Friday, December 19, 2014

Many Americans have trust issues when it comes to neighbors, media, government, public schools

A series of interactive maps show that many Americans—especially those in largely rural states—have little trust or confidence in their neighbors, elected officials, media outlets and schools, Emily Badger reports for The Washington Post. (The darker the color the higher the percentage)

That's according to recent results from the Current Population Survey, which asked people "all kinds of quirky questions about how we relate to each other and the institutions in our lives—our neighbors, our elected officials, our media outlets, schools and even the products we buy," Badger writes.

More than 150,000 surveys were recorded in 217 counties and 76 cities using data from November 2011. Among the questions asked were: How often do you discuss politics with your friends?; Do you trust people in your neighborhood?; Have you ever bought or boycotted a product or service because of the social or political values of the company that provides it?; Have you participated in a church, mosque, synagogue or other religious institution in the last year?; How much confidence do you have in the media?; How much confidence do you have in corporations?; How much confidence do you have in public schools?

In Minnesota, Nebraska, Vermont and Kansas, only 38 percent of people said they trust the media. Nevada (59 percent) and Montana (58 percent) had the highest percentages. No state had more than 50 percent of people say they are confident in public schools, with Nebraska leading the way at 46.91 percent. Confidence levels in schools are below 22 percent in Nevada, New Mexico, Louisiana, Tennessee and South Carolina.

It also turns out that many people don't trust their neighbors, with only 32.13 percent of Arkansas respondents saying they trust their neighbors, 33.73 percent in Texas, 34.76 in Louisiana and 35.34 percent in Tennessee. In Utah 60.34 percent of people said they trust their neighbors, but the next highest number was in North Dakota, where 50.86 percent of people said they trust their neighbors.

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