Wednesday, June 27, 2007

National Survey of 17-29 Year-Olds

Today's New York Times reports the results of a national survey of 17-29 year-olds, conducted by the Times along with CBS News and MTV. As I've noted before in conjunction with NY Times articles, free full-text access may disappear after a few days, so if you're at a university or other library that subscribes to Lexis/Nexis, that may be the best way to access the article in the long term.

Headlined "New Poll Finds That Young Americans Are Leaning Left," the article focuses on political opinions and presidential candidate preferences for 2008. One of the more interesting findings, in my view, was the following:

By any measure, the poll suggests that young Americans are anything but apathetic about the presidential election. Fifty-eight percent said they were paying attention to the campaign. By contrast, at this point in the 2004 presidential campaign, 35 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds said they were paying a lot or some attention to the campaign.

A supplemental PDF document listing all the questions and the response frequencies for each question's possible choices also provides a nice snapshot of the emerging adult population of the U.S., beyond political preferences.

For example, 22% of respondents were married, 73% never-married, and the rest divorced or separated. Thirty-one percent of the sample reported having children. In terms of highest educational level yet achieved, the sample was virtually evenly split between high school diploma or less, and at least some college.

In response to a question about networking websites such as MySpace, Friendster, and Facebook, 56% of participants reported having their own page, 15% had only visited such pages, and 30% had not visited any.

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