American millennials place significantly less value on patriotism, religion and having children than the generations that came before them, according to a new poll.
A survey released Sunday by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News found that the values unifying the nation are becoming fewer and farther between.
The two outlets compared data taken from a poll of Americans’ most cherished values 21 years ago and August of 2019.
Back then, the top rated categories were hard work, patriotism, commitment to religion and having children.
Today, the only trait that remains at the top of the list is hard work, while the other categories have fallen due to input from people between 18 and 38.
‘There’s an emerging America where issues like children, religion and patriotism are far less important, Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducted the survey with Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt, told WSJ.
‘And in America, it’s the emerging generation that calls the shots about where the country is headed.’
A new survey of values cherished by Americans in 2019 found that millennials place much less importance on patriotism, religion and having children than generations that came before them. The graph above shows the spread of the top six values rated in the poll based on age
The largest decline was seen with the value of having children, with 43 percent of the 1,000 people surveyed indicating that it was ‘very important’ to them – down 16 percent from 1998.
Among the 18 to 38 age group, just over 30 percent said having children was important in 2019, compared with over 50 percent of people over 55.
Fifty percent of people said religion was very important to them, compared with 62 percent in 1998. Only one third of the younger age group indicated that it was important, compared with two thirds of the older group.
Just over 61 percent of people placed high importance on patriotism, down nine percent from 21 years prior. Nearly 80 percent of people over 55 said it was very important, compared with 42 percent of the younger group.
The researchers said the stark divide between age groups is an indication of how difficult it will be for 2020 presidential candidates to find common ground, especially given that the differences were most pronounced among Democrats.
The survey found that Democrats over the age of 50 had views that were more in line with younger Republicans than younger members of their own party.
Researchers found that 70 percent of Americans surveyed are ‘angry’ with the current political landscape in the US. That number is unchanged from October 2015 (file photo)
There were a few unifying points in the data, including that most Americans indicated that they are somewhat or very satisfied with the economy.
Two-thirds said they are not confident that the next generation will be better off than the current one.
All age groups fell within a 20-point range when it came to the value of hard work, community involvement and tolerance for others.
However, specific questions regarding tolerance yielded politically polar responses.
Nearly two-thirds of people who said they would vote in a Democratic primary said they believe the country becoming more diverse and tolerant of different lifestyles and cultures is a step forward.
Only 16 percent of Republican primary voters agreed, with nearly 60 percent saying they saw the shift as a mix of steps forward and steps back.
Sixty percent of adults said they think race relations in the US are in bad shape, with half of Republicans and 21 percent of Republicans indicating that race relations are good.
Only 19 percent of African-Americans polled said race relations were fairly or very good in 2019, the lowest level in more than two decades of polling by WSJ and NBC researchers.
Some 56 percent of participants said race relations had worsened since President Trump took office in 2016, while 10 percent said they had improved.
The researchers found that the country has become even more divided during Trump’s presidency – save for two feelings: anger and uncertainty.
‘Four years ago, we uncovered a deep and boiling anger across the country engulfing our political system,’ Horwitt said.
‘Four years later, with a very different political leader in place, that anger remains at the same level.’
Seventy percent of people said that the statement: ‘I feel “angry” because our political system seems to only be working for the insiders with money and power, like those on Wall Street or in Washington,’ described them ‘very well’ or ‘somewhat’.
Fifty-six percent agreed with the statement: ‘I feel anxious and uncertain because the economy still feels rocky and unpredictable’ – down from 61 percent in October 2015.
Offering a slim glimmer of hope going into the next election is the fact that 52 percent said: ‘I feel satisfied that our political system is being shaken up and those who have been ignored for too long are now being heard and put first.’
The new poll taken over August 10-14 had a 3.1 percent margin of error.
Over half of Americans said they are ‘satisfied’ that the political system is being ‘shaken up’