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Survey: Americans more unified than not on life priorities

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Yuganov Konstantin | Shutterstock

J-P Mauro - published on 05/28/23

The data found that despite a polarized partisan climate, Americans on both sides of the aisle share the same values on many different aspects of life.

A new survey from Pew Research Center is examining the value Americans place on various aspects of life. While the amount of time respondents devote to their favored activities vary, much of the US was found to share the same values. It also seems that political differences do not change the core values of the American people, suggesting that they are not so different as the often polarized political climate would have us believe.

When asked what the most important things in their lives were, by far the strongest response was “spending time with family,” which respondents called “one of the most important things” at a rate of 73%. Overall 91% of respondents placed family time as the “most important” or “very important.” This was more than twice the next most important activity, which was “practicing your religious faith,” at 32%. A solid 50% of respondents said practicing their faith was “most important or “very important.”

“Being physically active” was the next most popular answer, with 31% placing it as one of the most important activities. When adding those who felt it was only “very important,” however, physical activity rose to 74%, eclipsing religious practice. “Being outdoors and experiencing nature” was just behind physical activity, at 29%, and a successful career was suggested to be one of the most important aspects of life by nearly a quarter, or 23%. 

When the survey compared the answers of respondents based on political party, there was very little difference found in most of the answers. Family time was still atop the list and shown to be prized by both Republicans and Democrats alike, at a rate of 92% and 89% respectively. Physical activity was also practically the same with Republicans placing importance on exercise at a rate of 74% and Democrats answering at a rate of 75%. Time spent in nature and success in one’s career were also only one point off between the left and right. 

The largest disparity between Republican and Democrat responses was seen in the value placed on practicing one’s faith. On this question, Republicans placed prime importance on faith practice at a rate of 61%, which fell to 40% in Democrat responses. A similar, but opposite, gap was seen in the value of art, music, and writing; with Democrats placing a high importance on these at a rate of 52%, falling to 35% in Republican respondents. Taking part in political activities was also more popular on the left (35%) than the right (21%).

While the stances Americans take on various social issues can seem widely different, here it seems that the vast majority of Americans share the same core values of family, faith, and health. 

FaithFamilyHealth and WellnessUnited States
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