Young Americans trust colleges and universities more than the military, police, and churches, a new survey finds.
YouGov conducted a survey of 147 young Americans ages 18-29 from May 29-30. The broader survey interviewed 1,060 U.S. adults and grouped them in age groups of 18-29, 30-44, 45-64, and 65+. The respondents were asked to rate their trust in key American institutions on an ascending scale of “none,” “a little,” “some,” and “a great deal.” Campus Reform reported on a similar survey in 2019.
When asked how much they trust the police, 38 percent of young adults ages 18-29 said they hold “some” or “a great deal” of trust in the institution, nearly a 30 percent decrease from 2019. Meanwhile, 58 percent hold “some” or a “great deal” of trust in the U.S. military. In 2019, nearly 70 percent of the same age group held the same level of trust.
The 2020 survey found that nearly one in four young Americans have no trust whatsoever in the military (23 percent) or police (24 percent).
Just over three-quarters of young adults between the ages of 18-29 admitted some level of trust in “church or organized religion,” the majority of that number 31 percent) expressing only “a little” trust. The 2019 survey found that 50 percent of young Americans between 18 and 29 expressed at least some level of trust in religious leaders.
The YouGov survey found that young Americans hold the highest amount of trust in college professors and universities with 65 percent reporting either “some” or “a great deal” of trust in colleges and universities. In 2019, 74 percent of 18-29-year-olds trusted college professors and universities. Comparing the two years, 2020 found about a 10 percent decrease of young Americans reporting trust in higher education institutions.
The survey was conducted at the height of the nationwide riots in which demonstrators called to “defund the police.” As Campus Reform reported, some professors have defended rioters while others even encouraged it.
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