“Americans’ Knowledge of the Branches of Government Is Declining “



Survey on civic knowledge highlights the need for an improved education in American history and politics.

Only a quarter of Americans can name all three branches of government, the poorest showing on that question in a half-dozen years, a new survey on civic knowledge has found. Nearly a third of Americans cannot name any of the three branches of government, according to the survey conducted by the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) of the University of Pennsylvania.

Americans’ lack of knowledge about their government isn’t limited to civics. In August, just weeks after the political conventions, only 84 percent of those surveyed could name the Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump. Most could not name either major-party vice presidential candidate.

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The Annenberg Public Policy Center was established in 1994 to educate the public and policy makers about the media’s role in advancing public understanding of political, health and science issues at the local, state and federal levels.