- Gallup website notes
By Holden Karnofsky 4 min read

Gallup website notes

Some years ago, I tooled around on the Gallup website for a while, and I was surprised at how many things I was surprised by. Here are some of the things I found interesting:

People are quite satisfied with their jobs. 95% are very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with coworker relationships, ~80% with their boss/supervisor.

~44% of people think they'd continue working in their current job if they won $10 million in the lottery. At the same link: people estimate that they waste an average of an hour a day at work, and that people at their workplace are closer to wasing 1.5 hrs (as of 2007)

Environment: People rank environmental issues highly and even say that the environment should be prioritized above economic growth:

More Americans think we spend too much on the military as opposed to too little.

~55% of Americans hadn't been on a plane in the last 12mo, as of 2015 (not a pandemic thing).

~13% never used the Internet, as of 2013 - see "Do you, personally, use the internet at your home, place of work or school? That could be through a computer, smartphone, tablet or other device").

~40% of Americans are straight-up Creationists.

As of 2005, large numbers of people thought creationism (54% in favor, 23% unsure) and intelligent design (43% in favor, 35% unsure) should be taught in school. (Compare to evolution: 61% in favor, 19% unsure.)

What percentage of people think the taxes they're paying are too high vs. about right? Surprisingly (to me), it's roughly a draw. That's a recent thing.

~4% have had 20+ drinks in the last 7 days at the time of the survey (2019); ~35% answer "no" to "Do you have occasion to use alcoholic beverages such as liquor, wine or beer?"

Trust in media fell a lot between the 1970s and 2010s, though it's been surprisingly stable since then.

~60% believe that cloning animals would be morally wrong.

~50% say religion is "very important" in their life (I was surprised at how low this is, especially given that nearly half believe in creationism). However, large %'s of people (60-70%) believe in heaven, hell, angels, the Devil.

Football has been (a lot) more popular than baseball for at least 35 years. Baseball and basketball were even as of 2008 (most recent).

Americans would like to see big business have less influence, but are even more worried (by a lot, 67%-26%) about big government (see "In your opinion, which of the following will be the biggest threat to the country in the future -- big business, big labor or big government?")

Here's a chart of public opinion toward each industry. It's pretty much what you'd expect.

Public opinion on ethical standards of people in different professions. Medical personnel (esp nurses) and schoolteachers top the list. The bottom looks like what you'd expect (car salespeople, members of Congress).

Death Penalty: ~60% of Americans were in favor as of around 2010, even though a majority thought it had claimed innocent victims in the last 5 yrs (the figure was 59% as of the last measurement in 2009), and 64% thought it was ineffective as a deterrent. (As of 2020 the % in favor of the death penalty is a little lower, 55%; the other two figures I just cited haven't been updated.)

~40% of Americans personally own a gun.

Marriage: ~40% think sex outside marriage is immoral. ~10% disapprove of marriage between blacks and whites (as of 2013, the latest data point), down from ~30% (!) in 2002.

The most admired man and woman of each year going back several decades (3rd table down). Mostly just Presidents and First Ladies.

~5% of Americans are vegetarian, 3% vegan. And again, ~40% personally own a gun. If you had any remaining doubts that your friends are not normal.

At a given point in time, Americans consistently think they are worse off than a year ago, but will be better off in a year.

21% of Americans say they have a physical disability that limits their activity (as of 2004, the last data point).

LGBT rights. Very big moves in the right directions, but as of May 2021 18% still think that "gay or lesbian relations between consenting adults should not be legal." (This number is falling pretty fast though.)

Marijuana legalization support has soared from ~16% in 1969 to about 68% today.

~80% are satisfied with the way their lives are going. Has been fairly stable over time. By contrast, satisfaction with how things are going in the U.S. is pretty volatile.

People seem to commute a lot - avg of ~50 minutes a day, ~20% at 90+ minutes.

On smoking: of smokers, ~70% consider themselves addicted (as of 2013); 70% say they want to give up smoking; ~90% say they wouldn't smoke if they were to do it over again.

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