The 18 to 34 years old age group represents 30 percent of potential voters. Historically, this age group has had low turnout rates in elections, but this trend changed with the 2018 midterm election, with 3.3 million of millennials voting early.
What are the issues that make young adults want to go to the polls? Which issues will millennials care about during the 2020 elections?
The Millennial Impact Project
The Millennial Impact Project is a survey that looks at the things young adults care about. The latest edition of the survey dates from 2017 and found that social issues mattered the most to young adults. The survey also found that millennials were becoming more engaged and were ready to take action to see changes.
The top issues from the 2016 edition of the survey found that millennials cared the most about education, employment and wages, health care, and the economy. One year later, the survey found that 29 percent of young adults see civil rights and racial discrimination as a top issue to address.
Employment, job creation and health care reform come next with 26 percent of respondents citing these areas as issues they care about. For 21 percent of millennials, climate change should be a top priority. Immigration was mentioned by 19 percent, and K-12 education by 17 percent of respondents.
Voting was most often mentioned as a way of taking action. Some young adults also take action by signing petitions, posting on social media and choosing the products they buy more carefully.
Global Shapers Survey
The Global Shapers Survey looks at what young adults care about around the globe. It's interesting to compare this global survey to the Millennial Impact Project that studied which issues were considered as priorities by young adults from the U.S.
Climate change topped the list of major concerns with 48.8 percent of respondents citing this issue. Large scale conflicts and wars came next with 38.9 percent of respondents considering this area as a priority. For 30 percent of respondents, inequality in terms of income and discrimination was seen as a major issue, which echoes the findings of the Millennial Impact Project.
When asked what they wanted to see from their government, a little over half of young adults asked for measures against corruption. An open dialogue with citizens was mentioned by 28 percent of respondents.
One of the most significant findings of this survey is that 56 percent of millennials feel that their views are ignored.
The 2020 election
Millennials will represent 27 percent of voters in 2020 while Generation Z, or the 23 and under age group, will represent 10 percent. These two surveys will probably reflect which issues these voters will pay attention to.
We might also see some younger candidates basing their platforms on these important issues.
You don't have to wait until 2020 to get involved and draw attention to the issues you care about. Net Impact's events and campus chapters have been increasing awareness for issues that will affect our future, such as fiscal responsibility, economic development or climate change.
You can get involved by joining a chapter or starting one on your campus!