35 Countries Feel More Free Than US

Possibly because almost 80% believe government is corrupt
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2014 9:00 AM CDT
An American flag hangs from the ceiling of the rotunda in the Idaho Capitol in Boise, Idaho, on Sunday, June 29, 2014.   (AP Photo/Rachel La Corte)

(Newser) – Americans are feeling a lot less like the land of the free than they were eight years ago—possibly because they believe the government is corrupt, a new Gallup poll finds. Asked in 2013 if they were satisfied with their level of personal freedom, 79% said they were, down from 91% in 2006, while 21% said they were dissatisfied. That put the US just 36th among all countries. (If you're curious, New Zealand, at 94%, was No.1, followed by Australia, Sweden, and of all places Cambodia, which were tied at 93%.)

Only 10 other countries have seen a larger decline than the US, and many of those, like Egypt and Greece, have undergone major political or economic crises. One explanation for the drop: The growing belief that the government is corrupt. The number of people saying corruption was widespread has risen steadily from 59% in 2006 to 79% in 2013. (Read more Gallup poll stories.)

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