Fewer than half of people aged 16 or over are happy with the way democracy works in the UK, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics.
Just 48% of people who responded to the UK Household Longitudinal Study said they approved of the way they were governed.
A bigger divide opened up with a follow-up question of whether interviewees were satisfied or dissatisfied with their life overall. In the former group, 51% reported they were satisfied with the operation of democracy in the UK, but only 40% backed the system if they were dissatisfied generally.
Older voters were more likely to be dissatisfied with democracy, with 45% in the 45 to 54 age bracket choosing positive responses, compared with 52% of those aged 16 to 24.
The survey, carried out in the 2011/12 year was released by the ONS today.
Other findings of the survey revealed only 44% of those who expressed an opinion said they were very or fairly interested in politics, compared with 27% who were not very interested and 28% who were not at all interested.