RELIGION
05/17/2010 06:23 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Most Americans Say Moral Values In Decline

By Fernando Alfonso III
Religion News Service

(RNS) Three-quarters of Americans say the country's moral values are worsening, blaming a decline in ethical standards, poor parenting, and dishonesty by government and business leaders, Gallup reports.

The number of Americans who say the nation's moral values are in decline grew by 5 percent since last year. Other reasons Americans mentioned were a rise in crime, a breakdown of the two-parent family and a moving away from religion or God.

Only 14 percent of respondents believe that the country's moral values are getting better. An increase in diversity and Americans pulling together in tough times are two of the reasons these respondents gave.

Pollsters also found 45 percent of Americans believe that current moral values are in a poor state. This number is equal to last year's, which was the highest since 2002. Only 15 percent of Americans believe the country's morality is in an excellent or good state.

A majority of Republican respondents--52 percent--said the country was in a poor moral state, followed by 48 percent of independents and 35 percent of Democrats.

The U.S. adult findings are based on May 3-6 telephone interviews with 1,029 adults, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.