STUDY: Americans No Longer Think America Is So Special

children american flagsWe’re just holding these flags.

Photo: The Associated Press

The latest Pew Survey on Global Attitudes found that belief in “American exceptionalism” is in steep decline. In 2002, 60 per cent of Americans agreed with the statement.”Our people are not perfect, but our culture is superior to others;”

By 2007 that number only 55 per cent of Americans could agree with that statement. Now it has dropped to 49 per cent and will keep dropping.

However, the current polling shows the American public is coming closer to Europeans in not seeing their culture as superior to that of other nations. Today, only about half of Americans believe their culture is superior to others, compared with six-in-10 in 2002. And the polling finds younger Americans less apt than their elders to hold American exceptionalist attitudes. 

Here are how the people of European nations responded to that statement. 

Polls on American Exceptionalism

What could possibly explain this drop? Pew points the finger to higher-education. 

In the four Western European countries and in the U.S., those who did not graduate from college are more likely than those who did to agree that their culture is superior, even if their people are not perfect. 

The Pew Research centre did not inquire about other potential reasons Americans no longer believe their culture is superior. These may include the financial crisis, an endless series of wars in global backwaters, Jersey Shore, Kim Kardashian, and the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men. Or perhaps America’s loss of faith accelerated with the cancellation of the Fox series 24.

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.