Survey: Millennials Expect To Tackle Big Issues Better

March 24, 2014       The NonProfit Times      

Millennials are an optimistic bunch. Almost 80 percent of 17- to 26-year-olds said they are “optimistic about the direction of their local community,” according to a poll released today by the Clinton Global Initiative University (CHIU). Almost two-thirds of them believe that their generation is “better equipped to handle the greatest issues facing society,” with 72 percent attributing that to their “access to better technology.”

Millennials believe their generation is uniquely positioned to handle social issues because compared to their parents’ generation, they are more creative (81 percent to 19 percent), opened minded (81 percent to 19 percent), and innovative (79 percent to 21 percent).

For those who don’t believe Millennials are better suited to address major issues than their parents’ generation, 62 percent said it was because of “weaker personal believes and values,” and 40 percent said it was “weaker societal ties and connections.”

Almost two-thirds said they are worse off than their parents when it comes to finding jobs.

Nearly 60 percent of Millennials are committed to action and believe the best way to make an impact on a cause or issue is by dedicating time to a cause; 86 percent think it’s important that businesses donate to worthy causes and 80 percent think it’s important that business give back to the community.

Millennials are willing to pay more for products made by companies that pay fair wages, manufacture in the U.S. (76 percent), donate to charity (81 percent), are green (76 percent) and maintain a diverse workplace (66 percent).

Millennials ranked the following issues as “very important” to them personally:

  • Education, 72 percent
  • Economy, 62 percent
  • Human rights, 64 percent

The Millennial generation believes that they care about several key issues more than their parents’ generation, including:

  • Environment, 76 percent to 24 percent
  • Human rights, 69 percent to 31 percent
  • Education, 65 percent to 35 percent
  • Healthcare, 56 percent to 44 percent
  • Poverty, 51 percent to 49 percent

More than half of Millennials (54 percent) believe their generation will make a significant contribution to the environment but more almost three out of five believe they will leave the environment in worse condition than they found it.

The poll was released today as more than 1,000 college students gather this weekend for the CGIU’s meeting at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz., “to engage in developing solutions to some of the most press concerns of the Millennial generation.” A live panel discussion during a plenary session on the “Future of Higher Education” will be live-streamed at 2:45 p.m. Eastern at

The CGIU-Microsoft Pulse on America survey was conducted online from March 18-20 among a representative sample of 1,006 Americans aged 17 to 26 by Global Strategy Group. The overall margin of error is +/-3.1 percent with a greater margin on sub-samples.