Only 28% of Americans Satisfied with the Country's Infrastructure

Satisfaction down 11-points compared to last year

Only 28% of Americans Satisfied with the Country's Infrastructure

The author(s)

  • Nicolas Boyon Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Chris Jackson Vice President, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC —  According to the Ipsos 2018 Global Infrastructure Index, Americans are split on how they perceive the state of infrastructure in the United States. Similar proportions of Americans report being satisfied (28%) and dissatisfied (32%) with the condition of the country’s infrastructure such as roads, rail and air networks, utilities, and broadband internet. Overall, Americans are less content with their infrastructure compared to the global average (32% satisfied across 28 countries) and the G8 nations’ average (33%). Furthermore, satisfaction with infrastructure in the U.S. is down 11 points compared to 2017 (39%) and down 8 points compared to 2016 (36%).

Americans are most satisfied with the condition of airports (63% rate their quality as very good or fairly good), the digital infrastructure such as broadband (56%), and the water supply and sewage (51%). In contrast, Americans are especially likely to give a fairly poor or very poor rating to the country’s flood defenses (46%), the local road network (46%), and highways and major roads (40%). Dissatisfaction with flood defenses is most prominent in the South (50% of poor ratings), the region of the country that is most vulnerable to hurricanes. Compared to 2016, Americans have become significantly less satisfied with the quality of broadband internet (12-point decrease in the percentage of good ratings), the new housing supply (11-point decrease) and the rail infrastructure (10-point decrease).

When it comes to priorities, more than two in five Americans single out improving the water supply and sewage infrastructure (46%) and the local road network (43%). These two areas rank as the first and second priorities for the third consecutive year. Areas least cited as improvement priorities by U.S. adults are airports (14%) or nuclear infrastructure to generate energy (18%).

Seven in ten Americans (70%) believe that investing in infrastructure is vital to future economy growth. However, more than half believe that the county is not doing enough to meet infrastructure needs (57%) and not doing enough to involve people in decisions about which infrastructure to invest in (55%).  Americans also want the government to focus more on their local area: 61% of Americans believe that local communities’ views on plans for infrastructure should be heard properly, even if it means delays; and only 26% say that their local area gets its fair share of US’ investment in infrastructure.

About the Study

  • The Infrastructure Index involved 20,286 people sampled via Ipsos Global @dvisor in 29 countries (samples sizes were either 500 or 1,000 in each country): Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States of America.
  • Surveys were conducted online between August 24 and September 7, 2018 among adults aged 18-64 in the US and Canada, 18-65 in Czech Republic, and 16-64 in all other countries.
  • Data has been weighted to known country population profiles

For more information on this news release, please contact:
Nicolas Boyon
Senior Vice President, U.S.
Ipsos Public Affairs
+1 212 293-6544


About Ipsos Public Affairs

Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.

Ipsos has media partnerships with the most prestigious news organizations around the world. Through our media partnerships, Ipsos Public Affairs is a leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals in the U.S., Canada, the UK, and internationally. Ipsos Public Affairs is a member of the Ipsos Group, a leading global survey-based market research company. We provide boutique-style customer service and work closely with our clients, while also undertaking global research.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks fourth in the global research industry.
With offices in 88 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media; customer loyalty; marketing; public affairs research; and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,780.5 million in 2017.

The author(s)

  • Nicolas Boyon Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Chris Jackson Vice President, US, Public Affairs