This Independence Day, Americans will celebrate the nation’s core values, especially freedom. But according to a new international poll, Americans have become significantly “less satisfied with the freedom to choose what they want to do with their lives.”
Seventy-nine percent of US residents are satisfied with their level of freedom, down from 91 percent in 2006, according to the Gallup survey, released Tuesday.
That 12 point drop pushes the US from among the highest in the world in terms of perceived freedom to 36th place, outside the top quartile of the 120 countries sampled, trailing Paraguay, Rwanda, and the autonomous region of Nagarno-Karabakh.
Only 10 nations experienced as sharp a drop as the United States in terms of the satisfaction of citizens with their level of freedom: Egypt, Greece, Italy, Venezuela, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Romania, Yemen, Pakistan, and Spain.
Among the people most satisfied with their own level of freedom are New Zealanders, who top the list at 94 percent, and Australians, who come in second at 93 percent, according to the report.
“I think this decline is interesting in terms of perception,” says Jon Clifton, managing director of the Gallup World Poll. “Certainly the previous numbers make sense in terms of our classic self-perception. The recent numbers do not.”