New Surveys: Young People and Government

Posted by on August 30, 2002

A recent survey conducted by the Gallup Organization shows that college students believe there will be a shift toward careers that benefit the public interest and that their generation will be the “us” generation. Two-thirds (67 %) said they believed there would be an increase in interest in careers that serve the public, such as education and public health, and 20 % predicted a shift away from careers that may offer greater financial awards, such as those in business fields. More than six in 10 college students (64 %) agreed that their generation will be more oriented toward community well-being, while only 26 % disagreed, and 10 % remained neutral. See

A separate survey of college juniors and seniors conducted by the Washington firm Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates found that 41 % of the students would consider taking a job in the government, and that 75 % viewed government employment favorably.

A national survey of 1500 young adults (conducted in 2002) released by the Center for Information and Research in Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE), the Center for Democracy and Technology, and the Partnership for Trust in Government finds that young adults feel better about politics and government post-Sept. 11, but positive attitudes have yet to translate into action. Available at

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