2018 Edelman Trust Barometer Reveals Record-Breaking Drop in Trust in the U.S.

The full report is available here: 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer.

Summary
Trust in the U.S has dropped to an all-time low according to the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer. Due to lack of faith in the U.S government, trust has disintegrated among the general population. Ironically, the stock market and employment rates are at an all time high. Additionally, China is at the top of the 28-country Trust Index alongside India, Indonesia UAE and Singapore.

The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer focused on institutions within the 28-country Trust Index such as government, business, media and NGOs. All institutions are experiencing declines of trust ranging from 10 to 20 points in the U.S.

Globally, media is the least trusted institution. Respondents agreed the lack of trust stems from misleading news. The study also found that businesses are considered trustworthy in global governance, because companies are engaging in corporate social responsibility. These findings suggest that institutions provide accurate and timely information that enhances the trust of the global population.

Method
A quantitative survey was conducted to examine trust in institutions like the government, business, media and NGOs within the 28-country Trust Index.

Key Findings

  • The U.S suffered the largest-ever-recorded drop in the survey’s history, which fell to 33 percent among the general population and the informed public.
  • China finds itself atop the Trust Index for both the general population (74) and the informed public (83). Institutions within China saw significant increases in trust led by government, which jumped eight points to 84 percent among the general population, and three points to 89 percent within the informed public.
  • Sixty-four percent of respondents believe a company can take actions that both increase profits and improve economic and social conditions in the community where it operates
  • Nearly two-thirds of respondents say they want CEOs to take the lead on policy change instead of waiting for government, which now ranks significantly below business in trust in 20 markets. This show of faith comes with new expectations; building trust (69 percent) is now the No. 1 job for CEOs, surpassing producing high-quality products and services (68 percent).

Destiny Dunbar is a senior marketing major at New Jersey City University.

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