Opinion Polls/Surveys
1978 - 2016


Survey Year % Pro Legalization % Con Legalization
1. Marist Institute for Public Opinion 2016 49 44
2. YouGov 2015 44 46
3. YouGov 2012 38 48
4. Social Science Research Center 1995 19 81
5. Louis Harris and Associates 1990 31 46
6. Yankelovich 1985 23 72
7. Audits & Surveys Worldwide 1982 29 63
8. Louis Harris and Associates 1978 24 37


1. Marist Institute for Public Opinion (2016)

"Do you think prostitution between consenting adults: Should be legal or Should not be legal?"
Do you think prostitution between consenting adults: Should be legal or Should not be legal?
Sample: 516 national adults, aged 18 and older. Margin of Error: ±4.3
Source: Marist Poll, "Exclusive Poll Taken-Marist Poll," marist.edu, May 31, 2016


2. YouGov (2015)

"Do you think that prostitution should be legal?"
Do you think that prostitution should be legal?
Sample: 1,000 national adults. Margin of Error: ±4
Source: YouGov, "Country Split on Legalizing Prostitution," yougov.com, Sep. 1, 2015


3. YouGov (2012)

"Should prostitution be legalized?"
Should prostitution be legalized?
Sample: unknown number of national adults. Margin of Error: unknown
Source: YouGov, "Polling the Political Debate on the Legalization of Prostitution," yougov.com, Mar. 23, 2012


4. Social Science Research Center (1995)

"Although some are currently legal, please tell me which of the following you think should be legal: - Prostitution?"
Although some are currently legal, please tell me which of the following you think should be legal: - Prostitution?
Sample: 1,436 national adults. Margin of Error: unknown
Source: Social Science Research Center, 1995
[ProCon.org received the raw data from David May, Ph.D. who used it for the article "Tolerance of nonconformity and its effect on attitudes toward the legalization of prostitution: A multivariate analysis" in the Oct. 1999 Deviant Behavior. ProCon.org tallied the data, removed the null results from sub-samples, and then rounded to the closest whole number on the percentages.]


5. Louis Harris and Associates (1990)

"Please tell me which of the phrases on this card describes how you feel that activity should be treated -- should it be left to the individual, should it be allowed, but regulated by law, or should it be totally forbidden by law? - Engaging in prostitution."
Should prostitution be a private choice, legal but regulated, or forbidden?
Sample: 2,254 nationwide participants. Margin of Error: unknown
Source: Tom W. Smith, "Public Opinion on Prostitution: Trends, Comparisons, and Models," National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago, Aug. 1998


6. Yankelovich (1985)

"Do you favor or oppose: The legalization of prostitution?"
Do you favor or oppose: The legalization of prostitution?
Sample: 1,014. Margin of Error: unknown
Source: Tom W. Smith, "Public Opinion on Prostitution: Trends, Comparisons, and Models," National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago, Aug. 1998


7. Audits & Surveys Worldwide (1982)

"Would you favor or oppose legalizing prostitution throughout the United States?"
Would you favor or oppose legalizing prostitution throughout the United States?
Sample: unknown. Margin of Error: unknown
Source: Tom W. Smith, "Public Opinion on Prostitution: Trends, Comparisons, and Models," National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago, Aug. 1998


8. Louis Harris and Associates (1978)

"Please tell me which of the phrases on this card describes how you feel that activity should be treated -- should it be left to the individual, should it be allowed, but regulated by law, or should it be totally forbidden by law? - Engaging in prostitution."
Should prostitution be a private choice, legal but regulated, or forbidden?
Sample: 1,513 nationwide participants. Margin of Error: unknown
Source: Tom W. Smith, "Public Opinion on Prostitution: Trends, Comparisons, and Models," National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago, Aug. 1998