Grateful American® Foundation

Why is Americans’ Knowledge of the Branches of Government Declining?

September 17th

screen-shot-2016-09-16-at-10-55-26-amSeptember 17, 2016 — Today marks the 229th birthday of the U.S. Constitution. In honor of the day, The Annenberg Public Policy Center conducted a survey to test the public’s knowledge of basic civics.

One of the questions asked respondents to name the three branches of government. The number of Americans able to do so has dropped dramatically in only three years. Today, only 26 percent are able to identify the executive, the legislative, and the judicial as the three branches.

screen-shot-2016-09-16-at-10-55-42-amThat number, however, is quite interesting, as it almost perfectly matches the number of American high school seniors who are proficient in civics.


Click here to read the research.

Words of Wisdom

A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.

— James Madison, considered the “father” of the Constitution, laid out the three branches of government

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