United We (Still) Stand?: Research Reveals the Values that Unite Americans
Barna: “Maybe we are ... neither Democrat nor Republican" ... Research reveals the values a majority of Americans say define them
Glendale, AZ — With midterm elections just weeks away, new research suggests that Americans may not be as divided as is widely believed — at least not when it comes to the values they cherish most and believe define them.
America's Values Study, conducted by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University and commissioned by AmericasOne founder Marc Nuttle, evaluated four dozen different values to determine what Americans say defines them and their life. The results revealed considerable common ground.
The primary value that emerged from the 48 unique values was family, with 61% of adults saying that family is a value they would be willing to fight or even die to protect or preserve. An additional 19% said they would be willing to sacrifice personal resources to retain family, totaling 80% of Americans that would consider family to be a core value—something that defines them and their life.
The next most important was happiness. With thirty-five percent (35%) saying they’d be willing to fight or die to preserve their happiness and a similar proportion (37%) willing to sacrifice personal resources to maintain their happiness, 72% could be said to hold it as a core value. 
The remaining core values identified suggested that Americans seek personal goodness (character, integrity, personal responsibility) and maturity (purpose, growth, hard work), and yearn for life experiences and conditions that revolve around freedom (justice, independence, property ownership) and reliability (stability, trustworthiness, and kindness), above all else.
As a whole, said Dr. George Barna, Director of Research at the Cultural Research Center, the findings paint a very different portrait of Americans—one that shows considerable unity, rather than division and polarization—in the things we say matter most.
“The pattern of preferred values Americans have adopted indicates that perhaps the prevailing narrative about who we are is inaccurate,” Barna said. “Maybe we are, at our base, neither Democrat nor Republican, neither left nor right. The research says we still have a great deal in common.”
Other values that at least six out of 10 adults are willing to die, fight or sacrifice to preserve are justice (68%); personal independence (68%); character (65%); integrity (65%); kindness (65%); trustworthiness (64%); property ownership (64%); individual growth (64%); hard work (62%); purpose and meaning in life (62%); and stability (60%).
Conversely, the values that tested as least important included unconstrained sex, uncensored entertainment, universal empowerment, public recognition or fame, convenience, unrestrained choice and winning.
Also among the list of the least compelling values were cultural diversity, economic equality, and tolerance—values that are often promoted in popular entertainment vehicles and in media commentaries.

to view or download the full report
Overall, Barna says, the results represent a path forward, for leaders paying attention, that could restore hope, trust and unity.
“While the data show that no two population groups in the United States have exactly the same values profile, it also reveals a startling consistency in the ranking of the importance of core values across dozens of population subgroups,” Barna said. “Paying attention to what matters to the American people can initiate the process of identifying common ground, rather than emphasizing differences. The emphasis on what we share in common is what will break down barriers between groups and provide a sense of common cause. But, it’ll take bold and honest leaders to set aside ideological distinctives in favor of points of agreement.”

Barna continued: “When we consider the values on which America was built, it is encouraging to find that a handful of the values embraced by early Americans remain intact: family, financial cautiousness, hard work, humility and moderation. Wise leaders will seize those as foundation stones for the future of the nation.”

Nuttle agreed. “The authority of the family as the essential foundational element that secures the stability of society in the United States is the essence of what defines us as Americans. Empowerment of the family unit should be the objective of every elected official.”

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NOTE: The research above was conducted by Dr. George Barna in his role as Director of Research for the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University. Dr. Barna is no longer associated with The Barna Group.

About the Cultural Research Center
The Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University in Glendale, Arizona, conducts the annual American Worldview Inventory, other nationwide surveys regarding cultural transformation, and worldview-related surveys among the ACU student population. The groundbreaking ACU Student Worldview Inventory is administered to every ACU student at the start of each academic year, and a final administration is undertaken among students just prior to their graduation, enabling the University to track and address the worldview development of its students.

CRC is guided by George Barna, Director of Research, and Tracy Munsil, Executive Director. Like ACU, CRC embraces biblical Christianity. The Center works in cooperation with a variety of Bible-centric, theologically conservative Christian ministries and remains politically non-partisan. Access to the results from past surveys conducted by CRC and information about the Cultural Research Center is accessible at Further information about Arizona Christian University is available at

About the Research
This report is based upon data from a pair of companion surveys commissioned by AmericasOne that were conducted in July 2022. The first of those surveys, among a nationally representative sample of 2,275 adults, was administered online and took respondents an average of 21 minutes to complete. The second survey, administered to an online sample of 1,500 respondents, took an average of 22 minutes to complete. The sample for both surveys employed geographic quotas to replicate the population incidence in each of the nine Census divisions. Among the factors studied in the surveys were reactions to 48 values. Each respondent was asked which of five responses best described their attitude toward the value in question, whether they:
  • were willing to fight for/die to protect/preserve that value in your life
  • were willing to sacrifice personal resources to retain that value
  • were willing to argue in support of that value
  • did not feel strongly one way or the other about that value
  • or were not willing to defend that value

Reports related to that survey are accessible at
Additional related information about the state of American values can be found at AmericasOne is a national non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the cause of freedom, fiscal responsibility, and the core values that make America exceptional. 
About AmericasOne
AmericasOne is a community of values-driven individuals who are seeking to grow their families and businesses and would like to share their ideas and challenges in a supportive and trusted environment. AmericasOne is committed to equipping and engaging individuals and families who want meaningful, thoughtful reform that puts principles, not politicians, first. Our members get the resources needed to advance the cause of freedom, free economic choice, and the core values that make America exceptional.  
AmericasOne is founded by Marc Nuttle, a lawyer, author, consultant, and businessman. He’s represented and advised Presidents of the United States, leaders of foreign countries, state officials, and corporations. He has worked on government policy and is an expert at understanding, analyzing, and predicting economic and cultural trends. For more information on AmericasOne and the America’s Values Research project, visit or find them on Facebook at
Click here for press materials on Dr. George Barna
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Jason Jones
Jones Literary