Determining The Civic Outlook of Young Adults in America

  • First-of-its-kind national survey of 18–24-year-old Americans

  • Powering multi-year research initiative on civic engagement

Partnership with Institute for Citizens & Scholars

01 | Overview

Recognizing the pivotal role that young adults play in shaping the future of democracy, the Institute for Citizens & Scholars embarked on a groundbreaking research initiative in partnership with Citizen Data: “The Civic Outlook of Young Adults in America”. With over 31 million individuals aged 18-24 poised to influence the political landscape, understanding their civic attitudes and behaviors is paramount. This multi-year research endeavor includes a first-of-its-kind national survey aimed at measuring the civic preparedness of young adults, shedding light on their civic knowledge, engagement, and satisfaction with democracy.

02 | Approach

Our strategy centered around setting a baseline understanding of young adults’ civic knowledge, engagement, and attitudes toward democracy. To achieve this, we designed a first-of-its-kind nationwide survey of 4,008 Americans aged 18-24 and developed unique indices on civic knowledge, engagement, and commitment to democracy to gain a more comprehensive understanding of young Americans’ levels of civic competence.

Adopting a longitudinal perspective, we ensured our survey instrument was set up to monitor changes in youth civic engagement over time. Given Citizens & Scholars’ expertise with young leaders, we worked in close collaboration to leverage their on-the-ground knowledge to ensure our research would be additive and impactful to the space.

The Results

Our findings highlighted significant disparities in civic knowledge and engagement among young adults, powering Citizens and Scholars’ campaign to shape the national conversation around civic preparedness among young voters ahead of the 2024 election. Importantly, our research also revealed a positive correlation between high levels of civic knowledge with higher engagement and democratic satisfaction.

Media coverage, including articles published in The Hill and Newsweek, underscore these findings and emphasize the growing concern over the loss of faith in democracy among young Americans. These findings lay the groundwork for evidence-based interventions and collaborative efforts to empower young adults, foster civic participation, and strengthen democratic institutions.

  • 4,000+ Young Americans Surveyed
  • First-of-its-kind Survey Design
  • National Media Coverage

Media Coverage


The Hill

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