Less than 50% of Americans can name all 3 government branches: Survey
A new survey finds that about a quarter of US citizens surveyed could not name a single branch of the US government.
For the first time in six years, the US citizens’ understanding of basic facts about the US government declined, a new survey showed.
The Annenberg Public Policy Center’s annual Constitution Day Civics Survey found that fewer than half of US citizens could name all three branches — executive, legislative, and judicial — of the government.
The survey also highlighted that about a quarter of Americans surveyed could not name a single branch.
In addition, the survey pointed to a decline in the number of respondents who could name any of the five freedoms guaranteed under the First Amendment.
In this regard, only 24% of those surveyed named freedom of religion, compared to 56% from the previous survey, while 30% named freedom of the press, declining from 50% in 2021.
According to the newly released survey, around 26% of respondents could not name any First Amendment freedoms, adding that the percentage of respondents who named the right to bear arms — a right protected under the Second Amendment — as part of the First Amendment increased to 9%.
On the other hand, the survey pointed out that more than 80% of those surveyed recognize that the US Supreme Court upheld citizens’ rights to own a gun, and around 78% know that the Bill of Rights protects citizens from illegal searches and seizures.
It is noteworthy that gun violence in the US has become the main cause of death among the youth, with the majority of gun-related incidents concentrated in schools across the country.
The recent spree of tragic shootings in the US has pushed guns to the forefront of a national debate as US leaders grapple with how to reduce the alarming rate of violence.
The number of school shootings in the United States has been exponentially rising as of late, surging to reach 193 documented incidents during the last academic year. These crimes have left 59 people dead and scores wounded, advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety has lately said in a report.
Furthermore, the survey concluded that nearly three-quarters of respondents recognize that the US Constitution prevents the federal government from establishing an official religion, a similar percentage to the previous survey.
"When it comes to civics, knowledge is power," Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, considered in a media release.
According to Jamieson, "It’s troubling that so few know what rights we’re guaranteed by the First Amendment. We are unlikely to cherish, protect, and exercise rights if we don’t know that we have them."
Read more: Live-streamed Tennessee shooting series kills 4, injures 3
40% of Americans expecting civil war within a decade
In a separate context, a YouGov and The Economist survey found that more than two-fifths of US citizens consider a civil war inevitable in the next ten years, a figure that rises to more than half among self-identified "strong Republicans."
According to the survey, 65% of all respondents believe political violence has increased since the beginning of 2021. Furthermore, 62% expected political violence to increase in the coming years.
Read more: Black Americans skeptical meaningful changes will take place: Survey