Leading up to the 2020 election season, one of the most-quoted stats has been, “More than half of young people across the U.S. didn’t show up to vote in 2016.” As we enter into one of history’s most unprecedented elections, the world’s youth are (yet again) feeling more disengaged and detached from this year’s election.
Today, we’re sharing a first-time Gen Z data study that takes a critical look at this generation’s views on the upcoming election, current social issues and the nuanced factors that are driving youth and youth of color away from the polls. Through a quantitative and qualitative lens, the study unearths why today’s youth feel more disengaged and detached from this year’s election than ever before, along with a future-forward preview of the causes and social issues that will matter most to Gen Z, looking ahead to 2021.
For our study, we surveyed 1,000 young people across the U.S. on their views and sentiments around this year’s election, along with their unfiltered POV on relevant social issues and topics tied to their communities.
With Gen Z and youth today, nothing is as simple as it may seem and if there’s one thing I’ve learned from studying youth culture throughout my career as a millennial in consumer research, it’s that you can’t take anything this generation does at face value — you have to dig deeper. My hope for this eye-opening study is that it makes others take a step back before passing judgement on Gen Z and youth at large.
We’ve highlighted a few of the study’s most interesting findings below and you can view our full survey report here.
We explored what the barriers were both mentally and physically preventing youth today from casting their vote. There were interesting findings that showed contributing factors such as mental incapacitation and lack of public transit in rural areas greatly contributed to decreased voter participation from youth.
The research also found that this generation and Gen Z as a whole are extremely invested in shaping their future and collective civic responsibility within society. Mental health and climate change were also among their list of most-important social issues looking ahead to 2021.
Methodology: REVOLT and First & First Consulting conducted a survey with 1,000 U.S. respondents 18–34 years old in September 2020. The second phase of research was a social listening analysis of 200K Twitter posts followed by a third phase of digital diaries via our REVOLT Nation mobile community.