July 1, 2011
7/1: Independence Day — Seventeen Seventy When?
Just in time for the July 4th weekend, the Marist Poll has asked Americans in which year the United States declared its independence. And, the result is many Americans need to brush up on their American history.
Only 58% of residents know that the United States declared its independence in 1776. 26% are unsure, and 16% mentioned another date.
There are age differences on this question. Younger Americans are the least likely to know the correct answer. Only 31% of adults younger than 30 say that 1776 is the year in which the United States broke away from Great Britain. 59% of residents between 30 and 44 report the same. Americans 45 to 59 — 75% — are the age group most likely to have the correct answer. Among those 60 and older, 60% report that 1776 is the year in which the United States declared its independence.
When it comes to gender, men — 65% — are more likely to respond with 1776 than are women — 52%.
And, for the second year, about one in four Americans doesn’t know from which country the United States declared its independence. While 76% correctly cite Great Britain, 19% are unsure, and 5% mention another country.
A comparable proportion of Americans were similarly informed at this time last year. At that time, 74% thought the United States declared its independence from Great Britain, 20% were unsure, and 6% mentioned another country.
80% of those 60 and older, 77% of those 45 to 59, and 77% of those between 30 and 44 report the nation’s founding fathers revolted against Great Britain. This compares with 67% of those under the age of 30 who say the same.
Men — 83% — are more likely than women — 68% — to know that the United States declared its independence from Great Britain.