Are young people making America better or worse?

Jamie BallardData Journalist
January 08, 2021, 1:00 PM UTC

The kids are alright – but it depends on who you ask. 

A YouGov poll finds that about one-third (32%) of US adults believe America’s youth (i.e. those aged 18 and younger) are improving the country, though nearly as many (29%) say they’re worsening it.  

Adult members of Generation Z (41%) and Millennials (35%) are more likely than Gen X’ers (28%), Baby Boomers (28%) and the Silent Generation (26%) to believe children and adolescents are having a positive impact on America.  

Political ideologies also seem to play a role. Among American adults who consider themselves “very liberal,” about two-thirds (68%) think young people are improving the country. On the other end of the ideological spectrum, those who consider themselves “very conservative” are far more likely to think America’s youth are worsening (54%) the country.  

See full results here.  

Methodology: 16,705 US adults aged 18+ were asked “Which of the following comes closest to your opinion about young people (those 18 and younger) in America?” The survey was conducted between December 7 – 14, 2020. The responding sample is weighted to provide a representative sample of the United States.   

Image: Getty