Illinois Residents Least Trusting of Their State Government
Illinois residents trust their state government to handle their state’s problems far less than residents in any other state. Twenty-eight percent of Illinois residents trust their state government “a great deal” or “a fair amount.” In contrast, at least 75% of North Dakota, Wyoming, and Utah residents trust their state governments.
Young Americans’ Affinity for Democratic Party Has Grown; Majority have consistently aligned with Democratic Party since 2006
Young adults — those between the ages of 18 and 29 — have typically aligned themselves with the Democratic Party, but they have become substantially more likely to do so since 2006.
From 1993 to 2003, 47% of 18- to 29-year-olds, on average, identified as Democrats or said they were independents but leaned to the Democratic Party, while 42% were Republicans or Republican leaners. That time span included two years in which young adults tilted Republican, 1994 and 1995, when Republicans won control of Congress. Since 2006, the average gap in favor of the Democratic Party among young adults has been 18 percentage points, 54% to 36%.
This Democratic movement among the young has come at a time when senior citizens have become more Republican. The broader U.S. population has shown more variability in its party preferences in recent years, shifting Democratic from 2005 to 2008, moving back toward the Republican Party from 2009 to 2011, and showing modest Democratic preferences in the last two years.
Provo-Orem, Utah, Leads U.S. Communities in Well-Being
Provo-Orem, Utah, has the highest Well-Being Index score (71.4) in the U.S. across 189 communities Gallup and Healthways surveyed in 2012-2013. Also in the top 10 are Boulder, Colo.; Fort Collins-Loveland, Colo.; Honolulu, Hawaii; and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.
Record-High 42% of Americans Identify as Independents
Forty-two percent of Americans, on average, identified as political independents in 2013, the highest Gallup has measured since it began conducting interviews by telephone 25 years ago. Meanwhile, Republican identification fell to 25%, the lowest over that time span. At 31%, Democratic identification is unchanged from the last four years but down from 36% in 2008.
Three in 10 in U.S. Own an Array of Consumer Electronics
As electronics enthusiasts gather in Las Vegas for the International Consumer Electronics Show this week, a new Gallup analysis finds Americans falling into four groups according to their ownership levels of the electronic devices already available. At one end of the spectrum, 31% are “Super Tech Adopters,” who report broad ownership of the major computing and entertainment devices on the market. At the other extreme, 28% are “Tech-Averse Olders,” who own little more than a basic cellphone and DVD player.
“See Something, Say Something” Unfamiliar to Most Americans
Less than half of Americans say they have heard of the “If You See Something, Say Something” slogan, part of a government campaign designed to raise public awareness of signs of terrorism and terrorism-related crime. An even smaller percentage correctly identify it as targeting terrorism and crime.
U.S. Death Penalty Support Lowest in More Than 40 Years
Sixty percent of Americans say they favor the death penalty for convicted murderers, the lowest level of support Gallup has measured since November 1972, when 57% were in favor. Death penalty support peaked at 80% in 1994, but it has gradually declined since then.
Dysfunctional Gov’t Surpasses Economy as Top U.S. Problem
Americans are now more likely to name dysfunctional government as the most important problem facing the country than to name any other specific problem. Thirty-three percent of Americans cite dissatisfaction with government and elected representatives as the nation’s top issue, the highest such percentage in Gallup’s trend dating back to 1939. Dysfunctional government now eclipses the economy (19%), unemployment (12%), the deficit (12%), and healthcare (12%) as the nation’s top problem.
Americans Grade Math as the Most Valuable School Subject
Math is the clear winner when Americans are asked to say which school subject has been most valuable to them in their lives, followed by language arts — English, literature, or reading — and science. Math and English were also the top two subjects when Gallup first asked this question in 2002.
U.S. Drinkers Divide Between Beer and Wine as FavoriteU.S. Drinkers Divide Between Beer and Wine as Favorite
U.S. Drinkers Divide Between Beer and Wine as Favorite
Americans who drink alcohol are about equally likely to say they drink beer (36%) or wine (35%) most often. Another 23% say liquor is their beverage of choice. That continues the trend in which beer has declined as the preferred beverage of U.S. drinkers, shrinking its advantage over wine from 20 percentage points in 1992 to one point today.
The State of the American Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for U.S. Business Leaders report highlights findings from Gallup’s ongoing study of the American workplace from 2010 through 2012. This is a continuation of Gallup’s previous report on the U.S. workplace covering 2008 through 2010. This latest report provides insights into what leaders can do to improve employee engagement and performance in their companies. It includes an overview of the trend in U.S. employee engagement, a look at the impact of engagement on organizational and individual performance, information about how companies can accelerate employee engagement, and an examination of engagement across different segments of the U.S. working population.
In U.S., Support for Complete Smoking Ban Increases to 22%
More Americans than ever want to ban smoking outright: 22% say so today, up from 12% in 2007. Separately, 55% would make smoking in all public places totally illegal, also a proposal that has gained considerable support since 2007.
Though support is growing, the percentage of Americans wanting to ban smoking entirely remains relatively low. However, 39% of nonwhites back a universal smoking prohibition. Also, those with no more than a high school diploma, at 29%, are more likely than those with more education to say they want to make smoking illegal, even though Gallup has found that Americans with no college education are generally the most likely to smoke.
Fewer than one in 10 smokers support outlawing smoking. Also, individuals living in the Midwest are comparatively less supportive of a complete ban — 12% say smoking should be illegal, compared with roughly a quarter in other regions. Democrats are more likely than Republicans to support a smoking ban, with Republican support roughly in line with that of the overall adult population.
CFO Survey Reveals Doubts About Financial Sustainability
Source: Inside Higher Ed and Gallup
Hardly a day goes by without some author or commentator predicting that the end is nigh for higher education, or significant portions of it. Such predictions understandably grate on many administrators and professors.
But what do those with the closest eyes on their own institutions’ bottom lines — chief college and university business officers — think? Turns out they’re not particularly upbeat, either — about their own colleges’ futures or the higher education landscape more generally.
In a new survey by Inside Higher Ed and Gallup, barely a quarter of campus chief financial officers (27 percent) express strong confidence in the viability of their institution’s financial model over five years, and that number drops in half (to 13 percent) when they are asked to look out over a 10-year horizon.
Asked to assess the sustainability of the business models of various sectors of higher education, they take a more negative than positive view on several of them (nonselective private and non-flagship public institutions, and for-profit colleges).
And more than 6 in 10 CFOs disagree or strongly disagree with the statement that “reports that a significant number of higher education institutions are facing existential financial crisis are overblown.”
“This is a ‘Houston, we have a problem’ report,” says Jane Wellman, a higher education finance expert. “People who know what they’re talking about think we have a problem down the road if some things don’t get fixed.”
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Nearly one in three Americans prepare a detailed written or computerized household budget each month that tracks their income and expenses — a large majority do not.
Despite strong gains in the stock market over the past year, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s reaching record highs in the past month, stock ownership among U.S. adults is at its lowest level in Gallup trends since 1998, essentially unchanged from a year ago. Just over half of Americans, 52%, now say they personally, or jointly with a spouse, own stock outright or as part of a mutual fund or self-directed retirement account.
Minneapolis-St. Paul Area Residents Most Likely to Feel Safe; Memphis area residents least likely to feel safe
Eighty percent of those living in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area say they feel safe walking alone at night in the area where they live, the highest percentage among the 50 largest U.S. metropolitan areas. Minneapolis is followed closely by Denver, Raleigh, Boston, Salt Lake City, and Austin.
Provo-Orem, Utah, is the most religious of 189 U.S. metropolitan areas Gallup surveyed in 2012, with 77% of its residents classified as very religious. Burlington, Vt., and Boulder, Colo., are the least religious, with 17% meeting that threshold. Most of the top religious cities are in the South — the exceptions are Provo; Ogden-Clearfield, Utah; and Holland-Grand Haven, Mich. The least religious cities are clustered in the Northeast and on the Pacific Coast, with the exception of Boulder and Madison, Wis.
For Fourth Year, Hawaii No. 1 in Wellbeing, W.Va. Last
Hawaii residents have the highest wellbeing in the nation for the fourth consecutive year, with a Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index score of 71.1 in 2012 — up from 70.2 in 2011. Colorado, Minnesota, Utah, and Vermont rounded out the top five states with the highest wellbeing scores last year. West Virginia residents have the lowest overall wellbeing for the fourth year in a row, with a Well-Being Index score of 61.3 in 2012 — slightly lower than the 62.3 in 2011. Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas also had among the five lowest wellbeing scores in the country.
Latin Americans are the most positive people in the world, with their region being home to eight of the top 10 countries for positive emotions worldwide. Residents in Panama and Paraguay are the most likely to report experiencing positive emotions. Singaporeans, Armenians, and Iraqis are least likely worldwide to report feeling positive emotions.
Gallup measured positive emotions in 148 countries and areas in 2011 using five questions. These questions ask people whether they experienced a lot of enjoyment the day before the survey and whether they felt respected, well-rested, laughed and smiled a lot, and did or learned something interesting.
The average percentage of respondents worldwide who said "yes" to these five questions reflects a relatively upbeat world. Gallup found that 85% of adults worldwide felt treated with respect all day, 72% smiled and laughed a lot, 73% felt enjoyment a lot of the day, and 72% felt well-rested. The only emotion that less than half of people worldwide reported experiencing was getting to learn or do something interesting the previous day, at 43%. Despite many global challenges, people worldwide are experiencing many positive emotions.