Yikes! One-Third of Americans Can’t Name ANY First Amendment Rights

Annie Holmquist | December 15, 2015

Yikes! One-Third of Americans Can’t Name ANY First Amendment Rights

On December 15, 1791, the first 10 amendments to the Constitution were ratified, giving Americans their famed Bill of Rights.

Sadly, many Americans don’t even know the freedoms they are guaranteed in the first and most famous amendment. According to the 2015 State of the First Amendment survey:

“When asked to name the five specific freedoms in the First Amendment, 57% of Americans name freedom of speech, followed by 19% who say the freedom of religion, 10% mention the freedom of the press, 10% mention the right to assemble, and 2% name the right to petition. Thirty-three percent of Americans cannot name any of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Over the past year, those naming freedom of speech decreased from 68 to 57%, freedom of religion decreased from 29 to 19%, and freedom of the press declined from 14 to 10%.”


That so many individuals cannot name their basic rights should not be a surprise, particularly considering the state of the American schools. In 2014, only 23% of American 8th graders were proficient in civics. Given that fact, the following video should come as no surprise: