This article was originally published at CampusProgress.org.
May 20, 2008
Young adults today–often known as the Millennial generation–have always been perceived as more socially liberal, but today’s young people also have progressive views on the economy as well. Not only do Millennials have more progressive economic views than any other age group today, especially compared to the conservative views of Generation X, men and women who are now in their 30s and early 40s.
According to a recent Center for American Progress report, a majority of 18- to 29-year-olds (the ages CAP’s report used to define the Millennial generation) believe that the government can be a force for good in the economy. Millennials also believe that increased public investments in healthcare, education, and other areas are necessary to ensure strong and sustainable economic growth. Furthermore, Millennials largely reject the conservative viewpoint that government is the problem, and they don’t necessarily believe that free markets always have the answers.
What types of issues do Millennials have progressive views on?
While previous studies about Millennials have largely focused on their views about social issues, CAP’s report provides an extensive examination of the economic views of young adults today. On a wide range of economic issues, young people look to the government to be a force for good in the economy.
- Millennials are more likely to support universal health coverage than any age group in the 30 previous years the question has been asked, with 57 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds saying that health insurance should come from a government insurance plan.
- Sixty-one percent of Millennials think the government should provide more services, not less.
- A vast majority, 87 percent, of Millennials think the government should spend more money on health care even if a tax increase is required to pay for it. This is the highest level of support in the question’s 20-year history.
- An overwhelming 95 percent of Millennials think education spending should be increased even if a tax increase is required to pay for it.
- Millennials are supportive of labor unions, giving them an average ranking of 60 on a 0-to-100 scale (with a 100 rating as the most positive view), the second-highest level of support of any age group in the over 40-year history of the question.
Why should people (and politicians) care about what young people today think?
There are a lot of Millennials and they know how to vote. Millennials are already the most populous generation today, totaling between 80 and 95 million people, which makes up roughly 25 to 30 percent of the population. This exceeds the number of baby boomers, who are now between 43 and 62 years of age. Millennials will make up an even larger percentage of the population as older generations pass away.