File Photo: A U.S. national flag flies at half mast to mourn the victims of a mass shooting in Las Vegas, at Times Square in New York City, the United States, on Oct. 3, 2017. (Xinhua/Li Rui)
WASHINGTON, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- The United States has witnessed a huge drop in public confidence in its institutions, according to a recently-released survey.
The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer revealed that trust in the United States has suffered the largest-ever-recorded drop in the survey's history among the population.
Trust among the general population fell nine points to 43, placing it in the lower quarter of the 28-country Trust Index, the survey found. Trust among the informed public in the United States imploded, plunging 23 points to 45, making it the lowest of the 28 countries surveyed.
"The United States is enduring an unprecedented crisis of trust," said Richard Edelman, president and CEO of Edelman, in a press release.
The collapse of trust in the United States is driven by a staggering lack of faith in government, which fell 14 points to 33 percent among the general population, and 30 points to 33 percent among the informed public, according to the results.
The remaining institutions of business, media and NGOs also experienced declines of 10 to 20 points. These decreases have all but eliminated last year's 21-point trust gap between the general population and informed public in the United States.
"This is the first time that a massive drop in trust has not been linked to a pressing economic issue or catastrophe like the Fukushima nuclear disaster," Edelman said.
"In fact, it's the ultimate irony that it's happening at a time of prosperity, with the stock market and employment rates in the United States at record highs," he stressed. "The root cause of this fall is the lack of objective facts and rational discourse."
According to the study, China finds itself atop the Trust Index for both the general population and the informed public.
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.
Joining China at the top of the Trust Index are India, Indonesia and Singapore.
The survey has been the 18th of its kind published by Edelman, an American public relations and marketing consultancy firm, since 2001.
The 2018 study sampled more than 33,000 respondents online between Oct. 13 and Nov. 16, 2017.