Politics

The Youth Vote: 10 Reasons It Matters Even More Than You Think

October 27th 2014

By:
Evan Aczon

10. 21 percent (46 million) of all eligible voters in 2012 were 18-29 years old. By 2020, young voters will boast about 90 million eligible voters.

Largest Generation

9. Young adults (18-35) outnumber senior citizens 46 million to 39 million, but only 45 percent of them vote, while 72 percent of seniors participate in our democracy. 10 percent of young voters consider themselves "political bystanders" and stay uninvolved.

Voting Percentage

8. A recent poll found that 59 percent of people under the age of 30 agree that elected officials are motivated by selfish reasons. Only 35 percent believe that running for office is an "honorable" thing to do

Running for Office

7. Young voters can change the entire outcome of an election. If you exclude young voters from the 2012 election, the outcome in Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Virginia would have been switched and thus we would have a different President today.

What if the youth vote really does make a difference in elections?

6. 62 percent of young voters say that giving back to their communities is near the top of their priority list. Only 17 percent are interested in writing a letter or email on a political issue.

Community

5. The generation of youth voters is the most racially diverse in American history.

minority majority

4. Only 23 percent of youth voter respondents to a recent survey said they will "definitely" vote in 2014, even after 50 percent of eligible young voters cast a ballot, 23 million in fact, in 2012. 

2014 Vote

3. Youth voters are more open than their predecessors to supporting many social issues, such as same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization.

Gay Marriage Chart

2. 64% of the youth vote believes that income inequality is greater today than when they were born. A majority (52%) consider this gap to be a major problem.

1. Youth voters are optimistic, with 49% of voters saying that America's best years are ahead, higher than any other generation in the same study.

Best Days