Poll: Young Americans Become Less Patriotic After Attending College

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS - MARCH 23: The Harvard University campus is shown on March 23, 2020 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Students were required to be out of their dorms no later than March 15 and finish the rest of the semester online due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty …
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

A new poll suggests that patriotism and favorable views of America among young adults tend to decline as they go to college.

The poll, which was coordinated by Young America’s Foundation (YAF) and Townhall, compared the views of high school students to those of college students.

Of those that took part in the survey, 82 percent had a “very” or “somewhat” favorable opinion of the American flag, divided by 91 percent of high school-aged students and 73 percent of high school graduates.

Townhall noted:

Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they believe America is “exceptional and unique” and is a country that “values liberty.” The poll found 54 percent of those who participated enthusiastically feel America offers “opportunity for all who work for it,” and 46 percent said America is both a “good example for other countries” and a nation that “values justice;” 43 percent enthusiastically said America “values equality.”

Sixty-three percent of respondents stated they feel “extremely” or “very” comfortable standing for the national anthem, which has been shunned by many over the last few years. Another 58 percent responded similarly when asked about reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at an event.

Among high school students, America’s favorability sits at 88 percent, while only reaching 69 percent among college students. The majority of high school students said they were proud to be Americans, while a slim 40 percent of college students responded the same way.

When asked whether they consider themselves to be patriotic, the majority of high school students, 58 percent, said yes, while only 35 percent of college students felt the same way. Following the pattern, 85 percent of high school students said they are happy to live in the United States, while 73 percent of college students felt the same.

Of those surveyed, the majority were full-time students with 47 percent being male and 53 being female. Forty-two percent of respondents identified as high-school aged. At the time of the poll, 13 percent were working toward an associate’s degree, 31 percent toward a bachelor’s degree, and seven percent toward a graduate degree.

Twenty-one percent of respondents identified as “very” or “somewhat” conservative, while 33 percent identified as “very” or “somewhat” progressive. Thirty-three percent identified as moderate. A mere four percent of respondents serve or have served in the military, while 16 percent have an immediate family member in the military.

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