An overwhelming majority of Americans in urban, suburban and rural communities believe that investing in infrastructure will improve the U.S. economy according to a new poll released Tuesday by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).
While infrastructure needs differ in different parts of the country, the new survey shows that adults strongly support modernizing U.S. infrastructure and believe that investments will create jobs and improve their quality of life.
“The findings underscore the fact that infrastructure connects rural and urban America – both literally and physically,” says AEM President Dennis Slater. “America’s infrastructure was once the envy of the world, but after years of underinvestment, our infrastructure and connectivity between rural and urban America have deteriorated considerably. This is one of the areas rural and urban Americans agree on today – that we must modernize and rebuild our infrastructure to reclaim the infrastructure advantage we once had.”
The national poll identified a number of key findings, including:
- An overwhelming majority (89%) of all adults believe that investments in infrastructure will strengthen the U.S. economy, including 86% of urban and 89% of rural Americans.
- More than eight out of every 10 adults (82%) agree that investments in infrastructure will increase the number of jobs in their communities, with 84% of suburban, 82% of urban and 80% of rural Americans sharing this belief.
- Americans across the country agree that investments in infrastructure will improve their quality of life (81%). This sentiment is equally strong in suburbs or towns (82%), cities (80%) and rural America (79%).
“It is time for Congress and the administration to listen to the American people and rebuild our infrastructure, spur economic growth and accelerate job creation as a result,” says Kip Eideberg, AEM Vice President of Public Affairs and Advocacy.
Respondents also identified transportation, construction and manufacturing as the top industries poised to benefit most from increased infrastructure investment. Thirty percent of all Americans pointed to manufacturing as one of the three primary beneficiaries of increased spending on infrastructure, a figure that rises among Midwesterners (34%) and rural Americans (34%).
The poll also found that a third of Americans (33%) believe that investing in broadband and wireless connectivity would most likely benefit their ability to access educational and workforce training resources.
The findings support recommendations made in a recently released report by AEM called The U.S. Infrastructure Advantage. The report emphasizes the importance of the United States reclaiming its infrastructure advantage in order to maintain its global economic dominance. The report also highlights several areas in which infrastructure, such as surface transportation and broadband, provide critical links between urban and rural communities and economies.