Most of them aren’t old enough to vote yet, but Generation Z shows signs of being as liberal as millennials on a number of political and social topics, and they’re more liberal when it comes to their belief about the role of government, according to a new report from Pew.
Pew defines Gen Z as those born from 1997 to 2012. They’ll be ages 7 to 22 in 2019, and recent Pew surveys of teenagers and adults on political and social issues found members of Gen Z are often within just a few percentage points of millennials, who according to Pew were born from 1981 to 1996. Here are some of the issues where the two generations line up:
Approve of President Trump’s job performance
Gen Z: 30%
Believe increasing racial and ethnic diversity is good for society
Gen Z: 62%
Believe the Earth is getting warmer due to human activity
Gen Z: 54%
Approve of NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem to protest racial injustice
Gen Z: 61%
Believe same-sex marriage is either a good thing or doesn’t make a difference
Gen Z: 84%
The two generations have a more substantial gap when it comes to beliefs about the role of government, one of the defining issues that separate conservatives and liberals.
Millennials have led their older counterparts in support of a larger government. In 2014, Pew found that 53% wanted a bigger government with more services, while 38% wanted a smaller government with fewer services. Millennials were then the only generation with a majority supporting a bigger government.
In Pew’s latest survey, though, 64% of millennials said they believe government should do more to solve problems, a figure higher than those older than them but lower than Gen Z, 70% of whom said government should do more to solve problems.
Most Gen Z members are too young to vote, and their political beliefs could evolve as they’re shaped by political and social conditions and age. But Pew’s early data suggests they could be as liberal if not more than millennials, reshaping American politics decades down the road.
Pew Research Center’s results come from two online surveys derived from probability-based panels. Results among adults are based on a survey conducted Sept. 24 through Oct. 7, 2018. Results among those under 18 are from a survey conducted Sept. 17 through Nov. 25. Results among 2,674 millennials have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points, among the 1,178 Gen Z respondents, the error margin is plus or minus 4.2 points.