No longer the new kids on the block, Millennials have moved firmly into their 20s and 30s, and a new generation is coming into focus. Generation Z – diverse and on track to be the most well-educated generation yet – is moving toward adulthood with a liberal set of attitudes and an openness to emerging social trends.
On a range of issues, from Donald Trump’s presidency to the role of government to racial equality and climate change, the views of Gen Z – those ages 13 to 21 in 2018 – mirror those of Millennials. In each of these realms, the two younger generations hold views that differ significantly from those of their older counterparts. In most cases, members of the Silent Generation are at the opposite end, and Baby Boomers and Gen Xers fall in between.
It’s too early to say with certainty how the views of this new generation will evolve. Most have yet to reach voting age, and their outlook could be altered considerably by changing national conditions, world events or technological innovations. Even so, two new Pew Research Center surveys, one of U.S. teens ages 13 to 17 and one of adults ages 18 and older, provide some compelling clues about where they may be headed and how their views could impact the nation’s political landscape.
Only about three-in-ten Gen Zers and Millennials (30% and 29%, respectively) approve of the way Donald Trump is handling his job as president. This compares with 38% of Gen Xers, 43% of Boomers and 54% of Silents. Similarly, while majorities in Gen Z and the Millennial generation say government should do more to solve problems, rather than that government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals, Gen Xers and Boomers are more evenly divided on this issue. For their part, most Silents would like to see a less activist government.
Climate Change and Gender Use Pronouns
Gen Zers are more likely than Millennials to say they know someone who prefers that others use gender-neutral pronouns to refer to them: 35% say this is the case, compared with a quarter of Millennials. Among each older generation, the share saying this drops: 16% of Gen Xers, 12% of Boomers and just 7% of Silents say this.
Gen Zers’ views about climate change are virtually identical to those of Millennials and not markedly different from Gen Xers. About half in all three generations say the earth is getting warmer due to human activity. Boomers are somewhat more skeptical of this than Gen Zers or Millennials. Members of the Silent Generation are least likely to say this (38%) and are more likely to say the earth is warming mainly due to natural patterns (28%) than are Gen Zers, Millennials and Gen Xers.
View of the US
Younger generations also have a different view of the U.S. relative to other countries in the world. While pluralities of nearly all generations (with the exception of the Silent Generation) say the U.S. is one of the best countries in the world along with some others, Gen Zers and Millennials are the least likely to say the U.S. is better than all other countries. Only 14% and 13%, respectively, hold this view, compared with one-in-five Gen Xers, 30% of Boomers and 45% of Silents. Roughly three-in-ten Gen Zers and Millennials say there are other countries that are better than the U.S.
Brainwashing by Educators or a Function of Youth?
There are still more charts and ideas in the article. But here is the question at hand.
Are these views a function of youth and naivety or a function of programmed bias introduced by academia?
I am inclined to believe quite a bit of both.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock