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Challey Institute survey: most U.S. adults proud to be Americans

Photo of Clay Routledge

Clay Routledge

The Archbridge Institute has released the findings of a new survey on national pride, conducted in partnership with NDSU’s Challey Institute for Global Innovation and Growth. The survey reveals that 87 percent of Americans report a feeling of pride in their country, with freedom emerging as a common theme in their responses.

The author of the study is Clay Routledge, Challey Professor of Management at NDSU and a senior research fellow at the Archbridge Institute.

“While there is no shortage of issues that divide us, Americans are actually united in their love for country,” Routledge said. “The overwhelming majority of Americans—regardless of race, religion or other factors—are proud to be Americans, and they agree that freedom is one of our most important values.”

The survey was conducted in October with a representative sample of more than 500 U.S. citizens.

According to the survey, national pride transcends political affiliation, racial ethnicity, socioeconomic status and other factors. Republicans (99 percent), Democrats (82 percent) and Independents (78 percent) all express pride in their country. Ideologically, 99 percent of “conservatives,” 88 percent of “moderates” and 75 percent of “liberals” are proud to be Americans.

In addition, more than 80 percent of individuals in every racial or ethnic category report pride in America, including 90 percent of Whites, 88 percent of Asians, 84 percent of Latinos and 81 percent of Blacks. This also applies to gender, with 90 percent of men and 85 percent of women being “proud” Americans. In terms of religion, over 70 percent of individuals in every religious category express a feeling of pride in the country, ranging from Christians (91 percent) to atheists (73 percent).

At every level of education, more than 80 percent of Americans report experiencing pride in their country — from 85 percent for people with a high school diploma to 95 percent for Americans with a doctoral degree. Regarding employment status, 90 percent of Americans working full-time and 89 percent of people working part-time report feeling pride. Even 84 percent of unemployed Americans looking for work report they are proud to be Americans.

And, in terms of income, 82 percent of respondents who earn less than $20,000 per year are proud Americans, compared to 92 percent of people who annually earn $100,000 or more.

“We may live in a cynical time, but our national pride is certainly a reason to be optimistic about our future. Americans can rest assured that more will continue to unite us than divide us,” Routledge said.

Routledge earned his bachelor’s degree at Missouri Southern State University, and his master’s degree and doctorate in psychology from the University of Missouri – Columbia. He has published more than 100 scholarly papers and written two books – “Nostalgia: A Psychological Resource” and “Supernatural: Death, Meaning, and the Power of the Invisible World.” In addition, he has co-edited three books and is the lead writer of the TED-Ed animated lesson “Why Do We Feel Nostalgia.”

His work has been featured in many major media outlets, such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, CBS News, ABC News, BBC News, CBC News, CNN, MSNBC, Men’s Health, The Atlantic and The New Yorker. Routledge is an occasional op-ed writer for the New York Times and has written articles for the Wall Street Journal, National Review and Scientific American.

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