Poll: More Americans Say U.S. Morality Getting Worse

More Americans believe moral values in the United States are getting worse, according to a new Gallup Poll.

The Gallup's annual poll on moral values found 76 percent of Americans said moral values in the country are getting worse, up five percent from last year. This year's rise marked the second highest one-year increase in nine years. In 2004, 77 percent of Americans said moral values were getting worse, marking a 10 percentage rise from the previous year.

Opinions about moral values in the country tend to stay relatively stable between years.

The highest figure was in 2007 at 82 percent.

Respondents most often cited declining moral values/standards and disrespect of others (both at 15 percent) as ways they see moral values in the U.S. getting worse. The open-ended question also found popular responses to be: parents not instilling values in children (8 percent); dishonesty among government, business leaders (8 percent); and rising crime and violence (8 percent).

Others said the moral value decline can be seen in people moving away from religion, church and God (7 percent), the breakdown of family and unwed mothers (7 percent), and sex, promiscuity, and pornography (5 percent).

The hot-button issue of abortion and gay relations were each only cited by 3 percent of the respondents.

Overall, 45 percent of Americans said the state of moral values in the country is poor – three times more than those who said it is in excellent/good shape (15 percent). This figure has stayed relatively constant over the past four years, but is still among the worst Gallup has measured in the past nine years.

The Gallup results are based on telephone interviews with more than 1,029 national American adults from May 3 to 6, 2010.

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