Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Saturday 15 May |
Saint of the Day: St. Isidore the Farmer
home iconNews
line break icon

Religion and patriotism much less important to young people, poll finds



John Burger - published on 08/29/19 - updated on 08/29/19

50% of respondents cited religion as very important to them, down 12 percentage points.

Today’s younger generations rate religion, patriotism and having kids as less important than did young people two decades ago, a new survey conducted by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News finds.

“When the Journal/NBC News survey asked Americans 21 years ago to say which values were most important to them, strong majorities picked the principles of hard work, patriotism, commitment to religion and the goal of having children,” according to an article in the Wall Street Journal.

Aside from hard work, which remains a top value, priorities have clearly shifted:

Some 61% in the new survey cited patriotism as very important to them, down 9 percentage points from 1998, while 50% cited religion, down 12 points. Some 43% placed a high value on having children, down 16 points from 1998.

As might be expected, older folks—those 55 and older—said patriotism was very important (nearly 80%), compared with 42% of those ages 18-38, the millennial generation and older members of “Generation Z.”

“Two-thirds of the older group cited religion as very important, compared with fewer than one-third of the younger group,” the Journal said.

“There’s an emerging America where issues like children, religion and patriotism are far less important. And in America, it’s the emerging generation that calls the shots about where the country is headed,” said Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducted the survey with Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt.

Not all issues are points of contention, however, the survey found. Large majorities rated tolerance for others as a very important personal value, for example.

Other findings of the survey include:

  • 63% of people who said they would vote in a Democratic primary said that the country becoming more diverse and tolerant of different lifestyles and cultures has been a step forward. But 16% of Republican primary voters said these changes had been a step forward for the country.
  • On race relations, half of Republicans say race relations are good—a similar result to six years ago—while only 21% of Democrats say so. Six years ago, slightly more than half of Democrats agreed with that statement.

“In the new survey, only 19% of African-Americans said race relations were fairly or very good, the lowest level in Journal/NBC News polling over more than two decades,” the newspaper said.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
Philip Kosloski
Ascension vs. assumption: What is the difference?
Philip Kosloski
What happened between the resurrection and ascension of Jesus?
I.Media for Aleteia
These 30 shrines will lead the Rosary Relay for end of the pandem...
J-P Mauro
We need better church music, say Catholics in the Philippines
Philip Kosloski
What was the message of Our Lady of Fatima?
Larry Peterson
Benedict XVI called him “one of the most unusual saintsR...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.