WASHINGTON (Jan. 27, 2006)–Abraham Lincoln stands above the rest when it comes to picking a favorite president, a new National Geographic Kids magazine survey has found. And good leadership skills and honesty are the most important qualities for a president to have, the survey respondents indicated.
Nearly 300 members of the National Geographic Kids reader advisory team took part in a mailed survey last month on U.S. presidents and logged their answers online.
Asked to choose their favorite president, Abraham Lincoln was the top pick, receiving 23 percent of the votes. George Washington came in second with 15 percent, followed by Franklin D. Roosevelt with 9 percent. George W. Bush and John F. Kennedy gained 8 percent of votes each; Ronald Reagan and Theodore Roosevelt received 7 percent and 5 percent of the votes respectively; and Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and Thomas Jefferson each garnered 3 percent.
The most common reason for choosing Lincoln as favorite president was his abolishment of slavery and ending the Civil War. Other comments on why respondents selected Lincoln included “because he wrote inspiring speeches and never gave up,” “he helped show us that we are all equal,” and “because his head is on the penny.”
When asked the single most important quality in a president, from a given list, being a good leader was the clear winner with 46 percent. Honesty (28 percent) and being intelligent or smart (19 percent) came in second and third.
The survey also asked the kids what questions they would ask the current president if they had the opportunity. They range from how much money he makes, whether the job is stressful and what it is like to live in the White House to his views on the Iraq war and the environment.
When asked if they’d like to have the job of U.S. president, only 39 percent of kids said they would. More girls than boys were interested in the position (44 percent versus 33 percent).
While most aren’t setting their sights on being president, many want to work for the government. When asked what job they would choose, from a provided list, the top choice was “spy/agent for the FBI or CIA,” with 16 percent of the vote. Being a veterinarian (13 percent), professional athlete (12 percent), movie star (10 percent) and video game designer (8 percent) rounded out the top five jobs kids would choose. Being president or a journalist tied for ninth place, each receiving 4 percent of the votes.
More than 500 kids nationwide are part of the National Geographic Kids reader advisory team, made up of roughly an equal mix of boys and girls from around the country, ranging in age from 8 to 14. The average age of respondents in this survey was 11.7 years.
National Geographic Kids, a multitopic, photo-driven magazine for 6- to 14-year-olds, empowers its readers by making it fun to learn about the world. It has received numerous industry awards, including the 2005 Periodical of the Year award from the Association of Educational Publishers and from Folio magazine a 2005 gold Eddie Award for best family magazine. Published 10 times a year, National Geographic Kids has a circulation of 1.3 million and is available by subscription for $19.95 a year and on newsstands for $3.95 a copy. Its Web site is at nationalgeographic.com/ngkids; AOL Keyword: NatGeo.