Introducing The Polarization Index

The first-of-its-kind tool to help organizations understand the level of discord in America and make more informed decisions about their own positions on issues.

Poli Book Cover - Oct 2020_Dec 2022

About the Index

The Polarization Index (PI) is the first data science-based measure of the overall degree of polarization in America, as well as the level of polarization across ten key issues. 

It reveals which side of the political spectrum is most engaged with an issue, how far apart both sides are, and points to how much unreliable information is being shared. 

Current Issues

The nature of polarization can shift rapidly due to an event or a policy debate. Hot-button issues examined in this PI report have been chosen through survey data and continued prevalence in news cycles over the past year.

LGBTQ+ Rights
Voting Integrity
Jan. 6 Capitol Attack
Policing Policy
Racial Equity
Gun Legislation
COVID-19 Vaccines
Climate Change

Brought to You By

Developed in collaboration with PR firm Golin and narrative intelligence company Zignal Labs, the Polarization Index (PI) from USC Annenberg leverages Zignal’s real-time natural language processing capabilities to mathematically calculate the overall national degree of discord, as well as tracks political bias and reliability across 10 key issues, determined in part by a USC survey of professional communicators.