What Things Do Most Americans Agree On?

by | Nov 6, 2020

Picture source: Milwaukee Independent

Even though our country is polarized politically, most of us actually agree on quite a few issues.

First, 71% of Americans believe that “we have more in common with each other than many people think.” Source. Below are survey results that show evidence in that regard:

  • Freedoms: 81% of Americans believe that “without our freedoms America is nothing.” Source.
  • Immigrants: 66% believe that “new immigrants are good for the U.S.” Source.
  • Racial Bias: Three-fourths of us believe that racial bias against Black Americans is serious problem. Source.
  • Diversity: 75% of Americans think it is important for companies to promote racial and ethnic diversity and 76% believe that racial and ethnic diversity is good for our country. Source.
  • LGBT: Three-fourths of us think that Gay and Lesbian relationships should be legal (up from 32% in 1986) and two-thirds support gay marriage. Source.
  • Health Care: 89% of us think that affordable health care is an essential right. Source. And 74% of us believe that the U.S. government should do more to provide health insurance for more Americans. Source.
  • Abortion: 79% of Americans believe that abortion should be legal (50% under any circumstance and 29% with limitations) and 72% think “a woman’s ability to choose and make decisions affecting her body and personal life should be protected.” Source and Source.
  • Infrastructure: Over 80% of Americans believe that upgrading our infrastructure should be a priority. Source.
  • Guns: Over 90% of Americans “favor preventing people with mental illnesses from buying guns and large majorities of both Democrats (93%) and Republicans (82%) favor background checks for private gun sales and sales at gun shows.” Source.
  • College Costs: Three-fourths of us think that the government should take action to decrease the cost of college. Source.
  • Climate Change: A large majority of Americans believe that climate change is real and a slight majority believe that humans are to blame:

Interestingly, many of the rights about which we most agree on we also think are the least secure. Which is confounding. We are a democracy. If we all think these things are important we can take action to protect these rights:

Source: Harvard Kennedy School


  1. Thanks John! I love these IFODs you do…especially now in 2020. Hope you and the family are well. Matt
    P.S I’m reading a book called The Upswing by Robert D. Putnam. It is how America came together a century ago during the Gilded Age and how we can do it again.

  2. Seeing the fervor of the comments on social media and the typical narrative from the media, I would have never imagined abortion, guns, and climate change to be on a list of items that Americans mostly agree upon. Appreciate the additional detail on those subjects in particular, for understanding. (Americans do not agree on gun ownership/control, but that people with mental illness should not own them are two vastly different opinions).

    A book I’m just starting that’s been on my “To Read” list for awhile is by Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion.


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