In an April Pew Research Center survey, two-thirds of U.S. adults (67%) said serving on a jury “is part of what it means to be a good citizen.” Just 31% took the opposite view and said jury duty service “does not have much to do with being a good citizen.”
Majorities in most demographic groups connect jury duty service with good citizenship, but younger people, racial and ethnic minorities and those without a college education are less likely to do so.
For example, only half of those ages 18 to 29 say jury service is part of being a good citizen, compared with seven-in-ten or more in older age groups. Blacks and Hispanics are less likely than whites to see jury duty as a part of good citizenship, as are those with a high school diploma or less when compared with people with at least some college education.
When it comes to the number of Americans who actually serve on a jury in a given year, recent statistics are hard to find. But the National Center for State Courts, an independent research organization focused on the state judiciary, has estimated that only about 15% of U.S. adults receive a jury summons each year, and fewer than 5% of those who are summoned end up on a jury. The center’s 2007 estimates are based on a survey of 1,546 counties, representing about 70% of the U.S. population at the time.