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Conceived by two Harvard undergraduate students during the winter of 1999, Harvard University’s Institute of Politics Survey of Young Americans’ Attitudes toward Politics and Public Service began in 2000 as a national survey of 18-to 24- year old college undergraduates. Over the last 13 years, this research project has grown in scope and mission, as we now analyze 18- to 29- year olds on a broad set of longitudinal and current events issues.

Each semester, IOP Director of Polling John Della Volpe leads a study group of undergraduates who collaborate to write, design and analyze the survey. The following represent data and insight beginning in 2009, including five of the key findings from our latest survey, which was conducted from October 30 - November 11, 2013 of N=2,089 young adults between 18 and 29 years old. You can read the full report online hereCheck out further analysis of the survey results from the Harvard Political Review.

 

Key FINDINGS

 

1. Most Millennials believe ACA/Obamacare Will Bring Higher Costs, Worse Care

 

Among the 18- 29- year olds currently without health insurance, less than 1/3 say they're likely to enroll in the exchange (13% say they will definitely enroll, 16% say they will probably enroll); 41% say they are 50-50 at the moment.

 

 

2. Buffet Rule, Cutting Foreign Aid and Nuclear Warheads Preferred by All Parties As Way of Reducing Deficit

 

  • 69% of the time, 18- to 29- year olds prefer enacting “‘The Buffet Rule,’ a requirement that people making over $1 million a year pay at least 30% of their income in taxes” over five other options offered to reduce the federal budget deficit. 

  • The only option that gained support from majority of each party, the “Buffet Rule” was preferred by 83% of Democrats, 69% of Independents -- and 57% of Republicans. 

  • 71% of the time, 18- to 29- year olds -- and a majority in each party (73% of Democrats, 78% of Republicans and 69% of Independents) support cutting “foreign economic aid in half,” as a means to reduce the federal deficit when paired against the five other options offered. 

  • “Reduce(ing) spending related to the nuclear arsenal by reducing U.S. nuclear warheads from approximately 2,000 to approximately 1,550 received similar levels of support (70% overall, 78% of Democrats, 59% of Republicans and 73% of Independents). 

 

3. Student Debt Issues Transcend Political Party Affiliation

 

 

4. Millennials Unsure About Snowden's Legacy; Most Oppose Government Collection of Personal Information

 

5. Significant Difference Between the Way Young and Older Millennials View Obama

 

 

KEY TRENDS 2009 - 2013

 

 

1. Millennail Views of Obama Now Tracking with All Adults

 

2. Younger Millennials, Trending Less Democratic

 

 

3. Approval of Republicans in Congress Low; Getting Lower

 

 

4. Midterm Enthusiasm Lacking for Young Blacks, up for hispanics

 

5. Facebook Use Shows Slight Decline Across the Board