TIPP Unity Index Slips In May

TIPP Unity Index Slips In May

65% believe the country is divided, while only 29% believe it is united.

Raghavan Mayur
Raghavan Mayur

The TIPP Unity Index slipped to 34.3 in May from 37.8 in April or 9.3%, reflecting the country's high level of division.  

A whopping 65 percent feel the country is divided, while only 29 percent believe it is united.

The Unity Index

In keeping with its tradition of innovation, TechnoMetrica created the Unity Index, a barometer of the country's unity based on the question:

In general, would you say the United States is Very United, Somewhat United, Somewhat Divided, or Very Divided?

The chart represents the answers we received to the question:

We converted the raw responses to a compact index to compare demographic segments and track unity over time.

The index ranges from 0 to 100.  Higher numbers indicate greater unity, while lower numbers indicate decreased unity. 50 is a neutral value. Above 50 indicates unity, while below 50 indicates division.

This month marks the second month of the index's tracking.

Relevance

Racial tensions are at an all-time high, exacerbated by tragic deaths and hate crimes.

As the country comes out of the pandemic restrictions, a unified society can act as a catalyst in forging ahead. While President Biden frequently mentions the importance of unity and coming together in his speeches, he has yet to find an effective way to get the American public to share these values.

Behind The Numbers

In May, all 36 of the demographic groups we track scored below 50, reflecting the widespread belief that we live in a divided country.

From April to May, 27 demographic groups saw a decline in their unity index scores, while nine groups saw an increase.

The groups that feel extreme division in the country are 65 or older, rural residents, Independents, married women, white women, and Republicans.

TIPP Unity Index By Demograhic Categories
TIPP Unity Index, Sorted Descending Order

Some have complained that President Biden's words and actions don't match.  He talks a lot about unity, but his actions are contradictory, such as endorsing the filibuster and the divisive critical race theory.

The schism has haunted us for several decades, and it is not fair to lay the blame entirely at the feet of a five-month-old administration.

The mainstream media has abdicated its responsibility to uplift the nation's discourse because a divided country benefits its ratings.  Recent Dartmouth research highlights the media's bias for negativity, even when dealing with a pandemic ravaging the country.  tippinsights recently showed how the American public is misinformed about policing and believes in dangerous anti-police myths.

The result?  Many Americans, fed up with the level of vitriol, have abandoned U.S. news outlets forever in favor of foreign news sources.

Is There A Message From Our Fellow Americans In Their Lack Of A Sense Of Unity?

It is probably unrealistic to think that all Americans will agree on anything. But, we must agree on enough issues so that we can make progress.

The people in our Congress and our President are so ideologically apart that we cannot make any progress at this time.  

Perhaps it is time that our government tries some new strategies that may be more productive in moving their agendas forward.  Our representatives in Washington should be demonstrating not just how firm their resolve is but how creative they can be in terms of coming up with solutions.

The infrastructure plan we have in Congress at this point may be fantastic, but it will never pass. Won't it be better to pass two smaller and more targeted bills than to have one giant bill that is a non-starter?

If we want to increase the feeling of unity in our country, our elected leaders have to demonstrate they too have a sense of unity.  The longer they are hopelessly deadlocked, the less unified our citizens will feel.  

Perhaps some creative problem-solving in Washington would go a long way towards bringing all of the American public together.

The United States needs to be unified now more than ever, and the actions of our leaders must go beyond mere words to truly reflect the spirit.

The TIPP Unity index is more than a wake-up call; it is a wake-up siren.

The country must not sustain its current trajectory.

We can do better than this!


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