Firefighters, healthcare workers and first responders top list of most trusted professions

Local actors garner more trust than the national, underscoring the degree to which proximity conditions trust

The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Catherine Morris Data Journalist, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, May 7, 2021 – A majority of Americans say that they trust firefighters, first responders, healthcare workers and teachers. National elected officials are the least trusted of all, with 46% saying that they are untrustworthy.

Just under half of all Americans (49%) say that they trust the police. There is significant partisan divide on this question (67% of Republicans trust the police vs. 37% of Democrats).

Most trusted professions

Americans tend to favor the local more than the national, agreeing that local political and business leaders handled 2020 better than their national counterparts did. This also applies to perceptions of everyday Americans, with just 48% agreeing that “Americans in general” handled 2020 well, compared to the 70% who believe that “regular people” in their community handled the past year well.  

Eight in ten Americans believe that firefighters and police deserve a publicly funded pension if they have served 20 years or more, and just 42% believe that guaranteed pensions are a “luxury” that the nation cannot afford. Just one in five Americans believe that pensions for teachers, firefighters and police should be cut as a consequence of budget shortfalls.

For full result, please see the attached annotated study.


About the Study

These are the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted May 4-5, 2021. For this survey, a sample of 1,000 adults age 18-65 from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The sample includes 290 Republicans, 360 Democrats, and 350 Independents/Other.

The sample was randomly drawn from Ipsos’ online panel, partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing a sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2018 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Posthoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education.

Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online non-probability polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=1,000, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=+/-5.0 percentage points).

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Chris Jackson
Senior Vice President, U.S., Public Affairs
+1 202 420-2025
[email protected]

Kate Silverstein
Media Relations Specialist, U.S., Public Affairs
+1 718 755-8829
[email protected]

About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest Insights and Analytics company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP

The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Catherine Morris Data Journalist, US, Public Affairs