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• After a first-place rank in 2004, spending on health programs slipped to sixth place in 2012.
• Halting crime was a top favorite for increased government spending from 1974 to 1988 and regained first place in 1993 and 1994. But after 1994, it dropped from +71.4 to +50.6 in 2002 — still a strong positive but the lowest for the category ever posted in the survey. In 2012, crime-fighting finished in third place at +51.6.
The General Social Survey is conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago with principal funding from the National Science Foundation. Data were collected between March and early September 2012 in face-to-face interviews with 1,974 randomly selected U.S. adults. The margin of sampling error varies for questions within the survey, but for most, it is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
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