The European financial crisis is not on as many American minds as major stories about similar issues in their own country, a recent Gallup survey has found.
Forty-nine percent of Americans say they are following the news about financial troubles in such countries as Greece, Spain, and Ireland at least somewhat closely — including 16 percent who say they are doing so very closely, according to the survey, conducted on May 29.
By comparison, 60 percent of Americans said they are paying very or somewhat close attention to major U.S. news stories over the past two decades — compared with those about European countries in recent months.
The highest percentage paying very or somewhat close attention out of more than 200 stories Gallup has measured is the 97 percent who were following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks closely in 2001.
While Americans are not paying a high degree of attention to the European crisis, they do express some concern about its impact on the U.S. economy, according to Gallup. Seventy-one percent of those surveyed by the organization said they were concerned, including 31 percent who are very concerned.
In March, Gallup found a slightly higher percentage of Americans – 44 percent – expressing concerns about Europe when asked whether the situation threatened the U.S. economy. However, the European debt crisis elicited the least concern of four issues tested in that poll.
The other issues concerned the amount of U.S. debt held by other countries, trade issues with China and the political turmoil in Iran.
According to Gallup, Americans might be more concerned about if more were paying attention to it. Among the 16 percent of Americans saying they paid very close attention to the news about Europe, 95 percent said they were concerned, including 69 percent who were very concerned.
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