“Meet Today’s Typical Millennial”

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The data sources I used to create this graphic are contained below. Also see Additional Data. Download and print a PDF of this graphic here. See more related data at: “America At The Precipice,” and “Meet Today’s Typical American” by Jon Sutz.

Definitions

  • Millennials: Born between 1981-1996
  • Gen-Zers: Born between 1997-2012

Data sources

(1) 52% of Millennials say they’d rather live in a socialist (46%) or communist (6%) country, vs. 40% why say they prefer to live in a capitalist country. 55% of women between 18 and 54 (Millennials and Gen-Zers) would prefer to live in a socialist country than a capitalist country. 47% of American adults overall say they’d vote for a socialist for elective office.

– (1) Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation: “Third Annual Report on US Attitudes Toward Socialism,” 2018; (2) Harris survey for Axios, 2019; (3) Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation: “Fourth Annual Report On US Attitudes Toward Socialism,” 2019; (4) Gallup survey 2019 that showed 47% of American adults would vote for a socialist; (5) A January 2020 Gallup survey showed the exact same results as in (4).

Also, from a February 2016 story in the Guardian (UK), these trends have been apparent for years:

“In a poll on the eve of the Iowa caucuses, more than 40% of likely Democratic caucus attendees said they were socialists. In a Boston Globe poll on the eve of the New Hampshire primary, 31% of New Hampshire Democratic voters called themselves socialists; among voters under 35, just over half did. And in late February, a Bloomberg poll of likely voters in the Democratic primary in South Carolina – South Carolina! – showed that 39% described themselves as socialists.

“Favorable views of socialism aren’t limited to Sanders supporters. The 39% of South Carolina Democrats who call themselves socialists exceeded by 13 percentage points the number who actually voted for Sanders. In a New York Times poll last November 56% of Democrats – including 52% of Hillary Clinton supporters – said they held a favorable view of socialism. Nor was this sway toward socialism triggered by Sanders’s candidacy: as far back as 2011, a Pew poll revealed, fully 49% of Americans (not just Democrats) under 30 had a positive view of socialism, while just 47% had a favorable opinion of capitalism. In 2011, the percentage of Americans under 30 who could have picked Sanders out of a police line-up was probably in the low single digits.”

(2) The number of Millennials who say they approve of communism jumped from 28% in 2018, to 36% in 2019. 22% think all private property should be abolished.

– Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation: “Fourth Annual Report On US Attitudes Toward Socialism,” 2019.

Also: According to a 2016 study by the Open Syllabus Project, The Communist Manifesto is the most-assigned “economics” book on U.S. college campuses, assigned more than twice as frequently as any other.

(3) 43% of Millennials think The Communist Manifesto better “guarantees freedom and equality” than the U.S. Declaration of Independence, or aren’t sure.

– Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation: “Fourth Annual Report On US Attitudes Toward Socialism,” 2019.

Also: According to a 2016 study by the Open Syllabus Project, The Communist Manifesto is the most-assigned “economics” book on U.S. college campuses, assigned more than twice as frequently as any other.

(4) 53% of Millennials believe America’s economic system works against them.

“Annual Report on US Attitudes towards Socialism 2017,” by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

(5) 83% of U.S. college graduates and 68% of elected officials cannot identify the functional differences between the free market and a command economy.

– 2008 Intercollegiate Studies Institute survey data, as reported in “Our Fading Heritage.”

(6) 73% of Millennials believes government should provide universal health care; 67% believe it should provide tuition-free college.

– Harris 2019 survey, via Axios.

(7) 48% of Millennials believe the government should provide a job to everyone who wants to work, but can’t find a job.

– Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation: “Fourth Annual Report On US Attitudes Toward Socialism,” 2019.

(8) 64% of American adults overall agree with the phrase, “From each according to his ability to each according to his need.” 69% either thinks it’s in the U.S. Constitution, or don’t know if it is or isn’t (up from 45% in 1987).

– (1) “Annual Report on U.S. Attitudes towards Socialism,” Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, October 17, 2016; (2) “Americans Don’t Know Their Constitution: Columbia Law Survey Finds Confusion Over Founding Fathers vs. Karl Marx,” Columbia Law School,  May 29, 2002; “The American Public’s Knowledge of the U.S. Constitution: A Hearst Report” (New York, 1987).

Also: A 2019 survey by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) found that 82% of four-year U.S. colleges do not require students to take even a foundational course in U.S. government or history, in order to graduate.

(9) Like half of America’s adults, she doesn’t know the basic purpose of the Constitution, and can’t identify even one of her rights under it.

2012 survey by Xavier University; cited in: “U.S. Naturalization Citizen Test: National Survey of Native-Born U.S. Citizens.”

Also: A 2019 survey by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) found that 82% of four-year U.S. colleges do not require students to take even a foundational course in U.S. government or history, in order to graduate.

(10) 80% of Millennials, and 88% of Generation Z, are unaware that at least 100 million people were murdered by the most notable communist regimes of the 20th century. 42% of Millennials are unfamiliar with Mao Tsetung; 32% of Millennials and Gen-Zers believe George W. Bush killed more people than Stalin.

– (1)“Annual Report on U.S. Attitudes towards Socialism,” Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, October 17, 2016, p. 5-6; (2) YouGov survey, via Intellectual Takeout analysis.

(11) Like most Americans, she doesn’t understand basic economic principles, or has an inverse perception of them, and lacks basic financial competence.

– (1) 2016 survey data from the “National Capability Study” by the FINRA Foundation, cited in “Nearly Two-Thirds of Americans Can’t Pass a Basic Test of Financial Literacy,” by Madeline Farber, Fortune, July 12, 2016; (2) National Council on Economic Education survey data, cited in “Survey Finds Many Have Poor Grasp of Basic Economics,” by Mary Williams Walsh, New York Times, April 27, 2005; (3) Report: “What American Teens & Adults Know About Economics,” The National Council on Economic Education, April 26, 2005; (4) Report: “What American Teens & Adults Know About Economics,” The National Council on Economic Education, April 26, 2005; (5) National Council on Economic Education data, cited in: “It’s Economics, Stupid!,” by David Azerrad, American Council of Trustees & Alumni InFocus, Summer 2009; (6) 2019 FINRA Investor Education Foundation study, cited in “Financial literacy skills have taken a nose dive since the Great Recession,” by MarketWatch; 2017 survey by Conquest Communications Group for JustFacts, cited in “National Poll Shows Voters Are Widely Misinformed About Key Issues.”

Also: A 2019 survey by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) found that 97% of four-year U.S. colleges don’t require students to take even a single class in economics, ad 43% don’t require a college-level mathematics course, in order to graduate.

(12) 50% of American adults cannot read above an 8th-grade level, and 25% cannot read above a 4th-grade level (functional illiteracy). Half the students at 4-year colleges, and 75% at community colleges, cannot perform complex but common literacy tasks, such as understanding the arguments in a newspaper editorial, or comparing the cost-per-ounce of food.

– (1) National Center for Education Statistics; U.S. Department of Education’s 2003 report, “A First Look At The Literacy Of America’s Adults In The 21st Century”; (2) National Institute for Literacy; National Assessment of Adult Literacy; cited in “4th Annual E-Government Survey,” by Brown University (2004); (3) Ibid.; “National Survey of America’s College Students,” Pew Charitable Trusts; cited in “Many College Students Poor On 3 Rs,” Associated Press, January 19, 2006.

Also:

      • A 2019 survey by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) found that 43% don’t require a college-level mathematics course in order to graduate.
      • A 2015 survey of U.S. employers by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) found that most rank the vast majority of college graduates as being unprepared in skills such as written communications (73% are unprepared), oral communication (72% are unprepared), critical thinking & analysis (74% are unprepared), and applying knowledge/skills to the real world (77% are unprepared):


Additional data regarding Millennials and Gen-Zers

22% of Millennials and 17% of Gen-Zers think all private property should be abolished.

– Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation: “Fourth Annual Report On US Attitudes Toward Socialism,” 2019.

61% of Americans aged between 18 and 24 have a positive reaction to the word “socialism.”

– Axios survey January 2019.

39% of Americans overall have a favorable view of socialism; 64% of Democrats and 13% of Republicans have this view.

– Cato Institute 2019 survey.

The percentage of Democrats who view socialism favorably grew from 25% in 1942, to 53% in 2010, to 57% in 2018, to 64% in 2019. From 2010-2018, an average of 17% of Republicans view socialism favorably.

– Roper survey 1942; Gallup surveys, 2018, Cato Institute survey 2019.

22% of Millennials agree with the statement, “Society would be better if all private property was abolished.”

– Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation – YouGov survey, 2019.

The number of Americans ages 18-29 who view capitalism favorably dropped from 68% in 2010, to 57% in 2016, to 45% in 2018.

– Gallup survey, 2018.

Like most Millennials, she doesn’t trust U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) or the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE); 25% want to see ICE shut down.

– YouGov survey, August 2019.

Only 12% of American high school seniors are proficient in history, which is their worst subject.

– YouGov survey, and NAEP, via Intellectual Takeout analysis.

More than half of 12th-graders believe the U.S. was allied with Germany, Italy or Japan during World War II.

U.S. Department of Education; National Association for Educational Progress survey data, 2001; cited in “Ignorance Of History Is No Joke,” CBSNews.com, July 3, 2003.

80% of seniors at America’s most elite colleges and universities cannot pass a high school history test, yet all will be able to graduate without taking a single history class of any kind.

(1) U.S. Department of Education; cited in: “Why History?,” Readers Digest, December 2002, p.88. (2) More: NAEP 2010 data; cited in: “Grade 12 National Results”; 2008 Intercollegiate Studies Institute survey data, as reported in “Our Fading Heritage.”

42% of Millennials are unfamiliar with Mao Tsetung; 32% of Millennials and Gen-Zers believe George W. Bush killed more people than Stalin.

– YouGov survey, via Intellectual Takeout analysis.

In the 2020 elections, for the first time, Millennials and members of Generation Z will form the largest voting bloc (37.5%).

– Pew Research, via Brookings Institution analysis.

Less than 50% of American adults understand the basic purpose of the Constitution, or can identify even one of their rights under it.

2012 survey by Xavier University; cited in: “U.S. Naturalization Citizen Test: National Survey of Native-Born U.S. Citizens.”

Gen Z and Millennials are projected to make up 37% of the electorate in 2020, the largest single voting bloc.

– Harris 2019 survey, via Axios.

The top three issues that will influence Millennials’ voting in 2020 are (1) access to health care, (2) global warming/climate change, and (3) mass shootings.

– Harris 2019 survey, via Axios.

The top three issues that will influence Millennials’ voting in 2020 are (1) mass shootings, (2) racial equality, and (3) immigration policy and treatment of immigrants.

– Harris 2019 survey, via Axios.

The combined percentage of Millennials and Gen-Zers who agree with the following statements (rounded):

  • Government should provide universal health care: 73%
  • Government should provide tuition-free college: 67%

  • Support abolishing ICE: 43%

– Harris 2019 survey, via Axios.

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