In 2017, the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania released their traditional survey on American civics knowledge for Constitution Day. Out of just over one thousand respondents, 37 percent were unable to name a single right protected by the First Amendment. Nearly four hundred adults were unable to recall religion, speech, press, assembly, or petition. Out of those that were able to name specific rights protected by the First Amendment, the ability to name all five was limited.
Our decline in civics knowledge does not begin when we cross the arbitrary line from childhood to adulthood, but rather in childhood itself from a general lack of education on the topic. Putting it in incredibly distressing terms in 2011, Charlies Quigley of the Center for Civics Education pointed out that,
only 4 percent of all 12th graders … (are at) a level we would hope our future leaders would attain.