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

(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.

An American flag hangs from the ceiling of the rotunda in the Idaho Capitol in Boise, Idaho, on Sunday, June 29, 2014.
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)
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