(NewsNation) — Patriotism is declining in importance to some Americans compared to years past, a new poll from the Wall Street Journal and NORC found.
Survey results showed 38% of respondents said patriotism was “very important” to them, down “sharply” from when the Journal first asked the question in 1998. Back then, 70% of people though patriotism was “very important,” the newspaper reported.
A pollster who’s worked on a previous Journal survey with NBC News, Bill McInturff, told the WSJ these “differences are so dramatic, it paints a new and surprising portrait of a changing America.”
Still, 73% of people, in total, thought patriotism was “very” or “somewhat” important. Only 27% thought it was “not that important” or “not important at all.”
There was a stark difference in results when it came to younger and older adults. About 23% of adults under 30 said in the new survey that patriotism was very important to them personally. Meanwhile, 59% of seniors 65 and older said the same.
Also taking a hit in the survey is that view that America stands above all other countries, which some call American exceptionalism, per the WSJ and NORC, a nonpartisan research organization at the University of Chicago.
According to the survey, 21% hold this view, while the amount of people who said other countries are better than the U.S. went up to 27%,. That’s an increase from 19% when the same question was asked in 2016.
A downbeat economic outlook could be to blame for this, says Jennifer Benz, vice president of public affairs and media research at NORC. In the same poll, respondents were also asked about their outlook on America’s economy, with most saying they are pessimistic about it.
“People are just sort of down on everything about the country,” Benz said.
Past polling at other news outlets and organizations also show people placing less value on patriotism. A Gallup poll from last year showed 38% of U.S. adults said they are “extremely proud” to be American, the lowest since Gallup started asking the question.
In January, another survey by Morning Consult had only 16% of Gen Z adults say they were proud to live in the U.S.