Civics: “Confidence in public institutions continues to decline”

Harvard Youth Poll:

This wave of the youth poll shows the lowest levels of confidence in most public institutions since the survey began. In the last twelve months alone, trust in the U.S. military and the Supreme Court to do the right thing “all” or “most of the time” has fallen by 10 and nine percentage points, respectively.

Only one (the United Nations) of the eight institutions in our survey is more trusted today than in 2015. The level of trust for the UN has increased by 17% over the decade. The remaining institutions saw steep declines:

  • Trust in the President has declined by 60% since 2015 (it now stands at 20%);
  • Trust in the Supreme Court declined 55% (now at 24%);
  • Trust among Wall Street is down 43% (now at 9%);
  • Trust in the U.S. military (now at 36%) and the federal government (now at 17%) both declined 38%;
  • Trust in Congress is down 34% (now at 12%);
  • Trust in the media is down 18% (now at 10%).


Harvard has been in the news recently over plagiarism issues.