Poll: Patriotism, religion, kids, lower priorities for younger Americans

BY REBECCA KLAR - 08/25/19 02:33 PM EDT 646

© Greg Nash

Americans place less value on the importance of patriotism, religion and having children than they did two decades ago, in a shift driven largely by the changing views of younger Americans, according to a new poll.

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released by the outlets Sunday found that hard work remained a top priority for Americans, but value placed on the other three principles has significantly decreased.

That compares to a poll from 21 years ago that found Americans listed hard work, patriotism, commitment to religion and the goal of having children as their top priorities.

Sixty-one percent of Americans in the new survey listed patriotism as very important to them, a 9-point drop from 1998.

Patriotism is still a widely perceived as important by Americans 55 and older, at 80 percent. But less than half of Americans aged 18 to 38, 42 percent, cited patriotism as a very important value.

Fifty-percent of Americans cited religion as an important value, a 12-point decrease from 21 years ago. Younger Americans again drive the decreasing value in the principle. Two-thirds of older Americans cited religion, compared to just one-third of younger Americans, based on the poll.

Just 43 percent of Americans said having children was important, a 16-point decrease from 1998, based on the polls.

The poll surveyed 1,000 adults between Aug. 10 and 14. There is a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.