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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Millennials are skipping church, marriage and political affilliations

Posted by on Mar. 7, 2014 at 11:52 AM
  • 73 Replies

126314316WASHINGTON — Young adults like to think of themselves as independent, but when it comes to politics, they’re more likely than not to lean to the left.

Half of American adults ages 18 to 33 are self-described political independents, according to a survey out Friday, but at the same time half of these so-called millennials are Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party, the highest share for any age group over the last decade.

In addition, young adults tend to be single and churchless — turning away from their predecessors’ proclivity for religion and marriage, according the Pew Research Center survey. Almost two-thirds don’t classify themselves as “a religious person.” And when it comes to tying the knot: Only about 1 in 4 millennials is married. Almost half of baby boomers were married at that age.

The new survey shows how the millennial adults are “forging a distinctive path into adulthood,” said Paul Taylor, Pew’s executive vice president and co-author of the report.

FT_Millennials_politics_religion
This can especially be seen when it comes to politics. Fifty percent of the millennials identify themselves as political independents, while only 27 percent said Democrat and 17 percent said Republican. The independent identification for millenials is an increase from 38 percent back in 2004.

“It’s not that they don’t have strong political opinions, they do,” Taylor said. “It’s simply that they choose not to identify themselves with either political party.”

The number of self-described independents is lower among their predecessors. Only 39 percent of those in Generation X said they were independents, along with 37 percent of the boomers and 32 percent of the Silent Generation.

Pew describes Gen Xers as those from age 34-49, boomers as 50-68 and the Silent Generation as those 69-86.

When the self-identified Democratic millennials combined with the self-described independents who lean Democratic, half — 50 percent — of the millennials are Democrats or Democratic-leaning while 34 percent are Republicans or Republican-leaning.

“They don’t choose to identify, but they have strong views and their views are views that most people conventionally associate with the Democratic Party,” Taylor said. “They believe in a big activist government on some of the social issues of the day — gay marriage, marijuana legalization, immigration. Their views are much more aligned with the Democratic Party.”

Taylor said they don’t know whether millennial voting trends will stay the same as they get older.

“People can change over the course of their lifetimes,” Taylor said. “At the same time, the behaviors, attitudes, the voting patterns and experiences that generations sort of encounter as they come of age in their late teens and early 20s are important and this generation as political actors has come in three or four national elections in a row now as distinctively Democratic and liberal despite the fact they don’t want to identify that way.”

Millennials also haven’t bought into the idea that they should go to church or get married early.

Only 36 percent of the millennials said the phrase “a religious person” described them very well, compared with 52 percent of the Gen Xers, 55 percent of the baby boomers and 61 percent of the Silent Generation. And they’re significantly less religious than their immediately predecessors, the Gen Xers. When they were the same age, almost half of the Gen Xers — 47 percent — identified themselves as religious.

The 64 percent of the millennials who say that they are not religious “is the highest for any age group we’ve ever measured,” Taylor said.

The millennials were far less inclined toward marriage than the groups that preceded them. Only 26 percent of the millennial adults are married. When they were the same age, 36 percent of the Gen Xers, 48 percent of baby boomers and 65 percent of the Silent Generation were married.

The Pew study was based on interviews with 1,821 adults by cellphone or landline from Feb. 14-23. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.

by on Mar. 7, 2014 at 11:52 AM
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Replies (1-10):
-Celestial-
by Pepperlynn on Mar. 7, 2014 at 11:53 AM
5 moms liked this

Sounds good. We can move forward and out of the dark ages, finally...

FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Mar. 7, 2014 at 12:31 PM
3 moms liked this

This pretty much describes by 19 year old to a T.

She does not 'identify' with either party for several reasons.  Then again, one does not have to identify with either, as many think, in order to hold educated and plausible views and stand on your own set of morals.

She is far more educated, open minded and able to see past her own nose than some in this group.  Sometimes, myself included.  We often have lengthy, honest and engaging discussions about what is going on in our country, the world, all around us.

She does not need organized religion to cloud her judgement.  As she puts it.  I envy her.  She was not brought up to believe in a certain road that must be followed in order to be 'that' person or to be in the mainstream, normal camp.


IandLoveandYou
by Bronze Member on Mar. 7, 2014 at 12:55 PM
4 moms liked this

Thanks to the drilling of "If you ever want to have success in life you must go to college!!" into our heads for years and years.. we are the most educated generation in American history. I think that has a lot to do with many 'millenials' being independent, single, and non-religious. We are in college at an age where many of our parents and grandparents were getting married and having children. We have the critical thinking skills necessary to think for ourselves and form our own opinions. We also have a wealth of information at our fingertips thanks to the internet, so it is harder than it once was to sway us (among those of other generations who are computer literate) with propaganda and fear mongering.

In general.. we're smart, logical and rational as adults. The lack of religious affiliation also helps one form views on social issues like gay marriage, immigration and marijuana legalization that are objective and sensible.

Unfortunately.. our education that we 'absolutely had to have if you want to make anything of yourself, ever!' came with a nauseating price tag.

SewingMamaLele
by Leanne on Mar. 7, 2014 at 1:11 PM
2 moms liked this
Well, when your educational system is dominated by one side, it's not surprising to see radical change in leanings. That's the point, right? Teach the young what you want then to believe so they think it's their own original thoughts.

It is good to see so many claiming to be independent.Maybe it will mean we can finally move beyond the two party system, and as the millennials get older, our opinions will broaden beyond what we've been taught, and our idealism will face reality. That may be my own idealistic thoughts, though!
jobseeker
by Bronze Member on Mar. 7, 2014 at 1:17 PM

 I knew you would approve

Quoting -Celestial-:

Sounds good. We can move forward and out of the dark ages, finally...

 

FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Mar. 7, 2014 at 1:21 PM


Quoting jobseeker:

 I knew you would approve

Quoting -Celestial-:

Sounds good. We can move forward and out of the dark ages, finally...

 

What is that supposed to mean?

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Mar. 7, 2014 at 1:23 PM
13 moms liked this


Quoting SewingMamaLele:

That's the point, right? Teach the young what you want then to believe so they think it's their own original thoughts

No, the point of higher education isn't to indoctrinate the students with the professor's conclusions.

Nor is the point of higher education to leave untouched the views the student arrived with.

The point is to arm the student with the ability to intelligently question ALL the views, both the ones they arrive with AND the ones they are exposed to at university.

Goodwoman614
by Satan on Mar. 7, 2014 at 1:31 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting Clairwil:


Quoting SewingMamaLele: That's the point, right? Teach the young what you want then to believe so they think it's their own original thoughts

No, the point of higher education isn't to indoctrinate the students with the professor's conclusions.

Nor is the point of higher education to leave untouched the views the student arrived with.

The point is to arm the student with the ability to intelligently question ALL the views, both the ones they arrive with AND the ones they are exposed to at university.

Yes. To learn critical thinking: how to reason, analyze. 

Didn't Texas have a problem with this being taught in public school, because then kids would be "encouraged to question their parents"? 

SewingMamaLele
by Leanne on Mar. 7, 2014 at 1:43 PM
1 mom liked this
I didn't specify higher education.

And that may not be the outward point, but look at the result. I know I was often made to feel the outcast in school because of my beliefs. Obviously, that's only my experience, but I can't be the only one. How many more caught on to the attitude that conservatives are rich greedy white men who don't care about regular people and actually believed it??? I know a fair number here that do.

I do wonder how the millennials entitlement issues play into these results, and if it's due to parenting, education, or a combo of both.


Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting SewingMamaLele: That's the point, right? Teach the young what you want then to believe so they think it's their own original thoughts

No, the point of higher education isn't to indoctrinate the students with the professor's conclusions.

Nor is the point of higher education to leave untouched the views the student arrived with.

The point is to arm the student with the ability to intelligently question ALL the views, both the ones they arrive with AND the ones they are exposed to at university.

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Mar. 7, 2014 at 1:54 PM


Quoting SewingMamaLele: I didn't specify higher education.

If you want to know the purpose of lower education, listen from 2 minutes onward of the following short segment of Alvin Toffler talking:

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