Washington, DC – Most Americans are unable to identify even a single department in the United States Cabinet, according to a recent national poll of 800 adults. Specifically, the survey found that a majority (58%) could not provide any department names whatsoever; 41% could. Only 4% of those surveyed specified at least five of the 19 executive-level departments, a figure comparable to the poll’s overall margin of error (+/-3.5%).
The same firm that last year revealed an eye-popping 64% of Americans could not name any of the Justices of the United States Supreme Court, has now uncovered a similar lack of knowledge with respect to the Executive Branch of federal government.
“These poll numbers would make any high school civics teacher cringe,” says Kellyanne Conway, President and CEO of the polling company, inc., in Washington, DC, the firm that conducted the survey. “The differing levels of knowledge according to gender, race and age are astonishing,” she continued. “An incredible 70% of 18-34 year olds failed to specify a single agency or department, and while a majority of men (52%) could name at least one, less than one-third of women (32%) could do the same.”
Key Findings include:
Ø The Department of Defense was the most recognized among all nineteen departments that currently comprise the Cabinet, with 23% identifying DOD by name.
Ø The Department of Treasury (14%), the Department of State (13%), the newly created Department of Homeland Security (12%), and the Department of Interior (11%) rounded out the top five responses volunteered by the survey respondents.
The following chart illustrates a comparison of the knowledge levels with respect to the five most common responses, by gender:
TOTAL / MEN/ WOMEN
Dep. of Defense 23% / 29%/ 19%
Dep. of Treasury 14%/16%/12%
Dep. of State 13% / 16% / 10%
Dep. of Homeland Security 12%/ 15% /8%
Dep. Of Interior 11%/ 15% /8%%
Ø No respondent named all nineteen correctly and only 1% was able to name at least 11 departments within the President’s Cabinet.
Ø Hispanics (79%), African Americans (75%), 18-34 year olds (70%), women (68%), and Pacific coast residents are among the groups most likely to say “I don’t know” when asked to name at least one department within the current United States Cabinet.