2021 Ipsos MORI Veracity Index of most trusted professions: clergy/priests trusted by 58% of population

Nurses, librarians and doctors are Britain’s most trusted professions, while faith in journalists, footballers and estate agents rises. Clergy/priests are in the middle of the list at 58% – 2% higher than last year.

Key headlines include:

  • Trust in the police has fallen by eight percentage points. Sixty-three per cent say they trust the police to tell the truth, down from 71% in 2020 and 76% in 2019. Having said that, this score is little different to the average level of trust recorded in the police since 1983. There is no difference between men and women on trust in the police, with 64% of the former and 63% of the latter saying they trust them to tell the truth.
  • Librarians are among the most trusted professionals in Britain. Ninety-three per cent of Britons say they trust librarians to tell the truth, just one percentage point behind nurses, who have been the highest scoring profession each year since 2016, when they were first included in the survey series.
  • This year’s top five most trusted professions are nurses, librarians, doctors, teachers and museum curators. Librarians are a new entrant to the survey, while curators have seen a small four percentage-point increase in the level of trust accorded them by the British public.
  • Trust in journalists has risen from last year, back to their previous highest scores, although they remain in Britain’s five least-trusted professions with just 28% saying they trust them to tell the truth and almost two thirds (63%) say they do not. This is a five percentage-point increase from 2020 and is also nine points above the level of trust recorded in journalists in 1983. TV news readers have seen a smaller increase in trust (of just two percentage points) to 52%, but the proportion saying they do not trust them has fallen from 42% to 38%.
  • Trust in professional footballers has risen by five points, with 35% now saying they trust this group to tell the truth and just under half (48%) not trusting them. There has also been a five-point increase in trust in estate agents.
  • The survey registers small increases in trust for politicians. Nineteen per cent of the public say they trust  each of Government Ministers and politicians more generally, which is a small four-point increase since 2020 for the latter. These scores are in line with the longer-term average for politicians, after a drop over the past two waves of the survey.
  • The five least trusted professions are advertising executives, politicians, government ministers, journalists and business leaders. This is broadly in line with previous years, although there have been slight improvements for advertising executives, journalists and politicians. 

As was the case in 2020, this year’s poll was carried out by telephone rather than face-to-face due to pandemic restrictions, which means that mode effects should be considered when comparing with waves of the survey prior to 2020, especially when changes are near the margin of error.

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