Pew Research Center has examined how people think about democracy, trust in institutions, and the role of information in society for more than a decade. In light of current debates about the state of the democratic process and the importance of truth, the Center has further deepened its focus on public attitudes about the role of trust and facts in democracy. This page is a curation of the most relevant content on those topics.
Key findings on Americans’ views of the U.S. political system and democracy
How do Americans feel about their own democracy? Read key findings from our recent report on Americans’ views of democracy in America.
Americans Favor Protecting Information Freedoms Over Government Steps to Restrict False News Online
U.S. adults are mostly against government action that could limit people’s ability to access and publish information online. There is more support for steps by technology companies.
Negative views of democracy more widespread in countries with low political affiliation
Across 35 nations, a median of 26% do not identify with any political party in their country. In countries where more people are unaffiliated with any political party, popular support for representative democracy is also lower.
Publics Globally Want Unbiased News Coverage, but Are Divided on Whether Their News Media Deliver
A global median of 75% want their news media to be unbiased when covering political issues, yet many say the news media do a poor job of reporting on political issues fairly.
Sharing the News in a Polarized Congress
Political divides in the American news landscape do not end with Americans’ preferences for different news sources; rather, they extend to how members of the U.S. Congress communicate with constituents in the digital age.
Mixed Messages about Public Trust in Science
America’s confidence in the scientific community appears to be relatively strong. But the degree of public trust in scientists across climate, food and medical issues varies, and many express moderate rather than strongly positive views.
Transatlantic Dialogues: In Europe and North America, Publics More Supportive Than Experts of Direct Democracy
Surveys of foreign policy experts and the general public reveal a division between these two groups over the role of the people’s voice in governing, as well as on the consequences of Trump’s presidency.
How countries around the world view democracy, military rule and other political systems
Many around the world say representative democracy is a good way to run their country. Compare global views of political systems and read six key findings.
Political Polarization, 1994-2017
The interactive chart below illustrates the shift in the American public’s political values over the past two decades, using a scale of 10 questions asked together on seven Pew Research Center surveys since 1994.
The Future of Truth and Misinformation Online
Experts are split on whether the coming years will see less misinformation online. Those who foresee improvement hope for technological and societal solutions. Others say bad actors using technology can exploit human vulnerabilities.