While American’s overall trust in national institutions has fallen to historically low levels, three of the 15 institutions tested annually in the Gallup confidence study remain at their long-held positions atop the list: (1) The Military, (2) Small Business, and (3) Police.


Highlights of the  “Gallup American “Confidence in U.S. Institutions, 2018” 

  • Americans’ average confidence in the nation’s major governmental, economic and societal institutions has leveled off at a historical low point.
  • Not only are the military, small business, and police, the most trust institutions, they are the only three institutions that receive higher confidence ratings from a majority of Americans.
  • The 12 other institutions are trusted by less than 50% of Americans.
  • If you’re looking for some positive metric in the annual research, here’s one: Compared to previous years, the distrust of American institutions didn’t get worse.

GettyImage | USS Constellation returns home from Persian Gulf area, 2003.

Percentage of Americans who trust the following institutions either “a great deal” or “quite a lot.”

74% | Military*
67% | Small Business*
54% | Police*
38% | Church/Organized Religion
37% | The Presidency
37% | Supreme Court
36% | Medical System
30% | Banks
29% | Public Schools
26% | Organized Labor
25% | Big Business
23% | Newspapers
22% | Criminal Justice System
20% | TV News
11% | Congress

*Trusted by a majority of Americans


Source | Gallup “Americans’ Confidence in U.S. Institutions, 2018”, June 1-13, 2018