The Selfish Generation

July 19, 2016, 6:21 PM GMT+0

Only 37% of millenials think people should 'always do the right thing'

For decades commentators from left and right have decried the decline of morality, arguing that Americans are, in one form or another, increasingly likely to put their own selfish interests before the needs of society.

YouGov's latest research shows that when people are asked how people should lead their lives, younger Americans are much less likely to prioritize doing the right thing. 37% of under-30s say that people should 'always do what is right', compared tp 62% of over-65s. 42% of under-30s say that people should balance what is right with what is best for them, while 15% flatly say that people should always do what is best for them.

Younger Americans are also more than twice as likely to say that they themselves generally do what is best for themselves and not what is right. 24% of under-45s say that they do what is best for themselves, compared to 10% of over-65s.

Most Americans (66%) believe that morality is best though of as 'a mindset on how to behave', with only 26% of the country saying that morality is 'a set of rules to follow'. Over-65s (32%) are slightly more likely than under-30s (25%) to say that morality is a set of rules to follow.

For full poll results and margin of error see here.