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Young Americans Are Less Trusting of People And Key Institutions

Their elders share differing views

Americans believe trust has declined in their country, whether it involves their fellow citizens’ faith in each other or their confidence in the federal government, according to a wide-ranging new Pew Research Center survey. And adults ages 18 to 29 stand out for their comparatively low levels of trust in a number of these areas.

Around three-quarters (73 percent) of U.S. adults under 30 believe people “just look out for themselves” most of the time. A similar share (71 percent) say most people “would try to take advantage of you if they got a chance,” and six-in-ten say most people “can’t be trusted.” Across all three of these questions, adults under 30 are significantly more likely than their older counterparts to take a pessimistic view of their fellow Americans.

All told, nearly half of young adults (46 percent) are what the Center’s report defines as “low trusters” – people who, compared with other Americans, are more likely to see others as selfish, exploitative and untrustworthy, rather than helpful, fair and trustworthy. Older Americans are less likely to be low trusters. For example, just 19 percent of adults ages 65 and older fall into this category, according to the survey, which was conducted in late 2018 among 10,618 U.S. adults. (You can read more here about how the study grouped Americans into low, medium and high trust categories.)

Please select this link to read the complete article from the Pew Research Center.

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