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Who Are Young Voters?

Jump to: [ Background on Young Voters | Key Demographics | Past Turnout ]

There are 44 million eligible young voters.  We are the most diverse group of young people in history - what’s more, we’re activated! We’re civically engaged in our communities, passionate about issues, and politically aware. 

Already, the Millennial Generation is changing the face of politics.  Forty-four million strong, we are the largest generation in history and represent more than one-fifth of the electorate.  We are also the most diverse generation.  Sixty-one percent of Millennials identify as White, while 17% are Hispanic, 15% are Black and 4% are Asian.
As Millennials, we possess a unique socially conscious world-view that has been shaped in the wake of September 11th, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the events surrounding Hurricane Katrina. These moments of national crisis forced us to turn to our elected officials for leadership, and the decisions those leaders made directly impacted our lives.  Everything in Millennials’ experiences has taught us this fundamental truth: deciding our leaders means deciding our future. And, through new technology, we are more intimately connected than any generation before us.  

Young voter turnout is one of the top headlines of 2008: turnout doubled and tripled in early ‘08 contests.   But ours is a story that has been percolating over the course of the last four years. 

  • In 2004, 20.1 million 18-29 year olds voted, a 4.3 million jump over 2000.  The turnout increase among the youngest voters was more than double that of any other age group.
  • In 2006, 18-29 year olds’ turnout grew by nearly 2 million over 2002 levels. Turnout among the youngest voters grew by 3 percentage points over 2002 levels, twice the turnout increase of older voters.

More Information

Background on Young Voters

Young Voters: A Political Powerhouse (pdf)
RTV's factsheet on today's 18-29 year olds and their role in the 2008 elections.

Young Voter Myths and Facts 2008 (pdf)
A look at common misperceptions about the youth vote and the facts surrounding each.

Latest Young Voter Polling
See the latest polling on 18-29 year olds from Rock the Vote and others.

Young Voter Registration and Turnout Trends (pdf)
The facts on young voter turnout from 2000 - 2006, including breakdowns by gender, race, education level and more. Conducted with the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE).

2008 Young Voter Primary Turnout
Young adults doubled and tripled their turnout in the 2008 primaries.  See the full story with this factsheet.

Results of RTV Young Voter Focus Groups (ppt)
In their own words, find out how 18-29 year olds think about the candidates, the political parties, and on the issues.


Key Demographics

About Young Latino Voters (pdf)
Young Latinos' voting trends, party ID and top issues.

About Young African American Voters (pdf)
Young African Americans' voting trends, party ID and top issues.

About Young Women Voters (pdf)
Young women's voting trends, party ID and top issues

About Young Democrats (pdf)
Young Democrats' voting trends and top issues

About Young Republicans (pdf)
Young Republicans' voting trends and top issues

Past Turnout of Young Voters

2006 Young Voter Turnout (pdf)
Young voter turnout surged by 1.9 million votes in 2006. See the details.

2005 Young Voter Turnout (pdf)
Young voter turnout surged in targeted precincts in 2005. See the details.

2004 Young Voter Turnout (pdf)
Young voter turnout surged by 4.3 million votes in 2004. See the details.


For more information, see How to Mobilize Young Voters, Rock the Vote Press Releases, or the Latest Young Voter Polling.