Thursday, February 7, 2013
A comprehensive new Harvard University report on Americans under 30, the so-called Millennials, shows that the economy is having a crushing impact, with just 62% working, and of those, half are toiling at part-time jobs
The report, released by Harvard's Institute of Politics, paints a depressing economic portrait of young Americans, many of whom are stuck with huge college tuition bills and little chance of finding a high-paying job. But over half, or 59% of those aged 18-29, have gone to college and the report reveals that time in college is a better sign of social status than income, mostly because jobs aren't available. Contrary to common media wisdom, most younger Americans did not vote in the last election. Of the 46 million Millennials, just half voted. "Although turnout was higher than it was in 1996 and 2000, it was right back to where it has been consistently from 1976-1992," said the report compiled by the National Conference on Citizenship, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University's Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, Harvard University's Institute of Politics, and Mobilize.org. Another blow to conventional wisdom: Younger Americans interact less than their baby boomer parents, apparently choosing Facebook over facetime. "Conventional group membership, attendance at meetings, working with neighbors, trusting other people, reading the news, union membership and religious participation are all down for young people since the 1970s," said the report. Other details about Millennials in the report: 59.2% are white; 19.9% are Hispanic; 13.5% are black; 5.1% are Asian; 0.7% are Native American; and 1.5% are multiracial or "other." In addition, 27.3% have immigrant backgrounds. Less than 20% of those aged 18-24 are married. Of those aged 25-29, slightly more than 40% are married, but that is down 80% from 1960. Just 1.6% are military veterans. The biggest group, 36.5%, live in the South, and typically in the suburbs.