Political Science and Economics
Stout, Christopher T.
In Spring 2014, the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale sponsored a poll of Illinois’ Jackson and Williamson counties with the University of Illinois Springfield Survey Research Office. The objective of the project was to examine at length how residents of the area felt about life, the economy, and a variety of other topics. In an effort to take the data collected by this survey and provide results that can be used and interpreted by the local community, especially politicians and leaders, this project seeks to examine the differences between young, voting-age citizens and the rest of the population. Beyond this, it examines how being young affects the worldview of individuals. To represent young people, I chose millennials—those born in 1980 and after—in order to provide enough respondents for significant results. Furthermore, millennials make an intriguing group to scientifically study because they receive frequent media attention for their perceived differences from older generations. Because they came of age in a very different pubic climate from their predecessors, I hypothesize that millennials differ significantly from the rest of the population. Specific areas of focus as dependent variables include daily news media consumption, economic factors, and quality of life. After running a series t-tests, OLS, Logit, and Multinomial Regressions, there was support for the hypothesis in some instances. Overall, however, there was not enough support to reject the null hypothesis of no difference in millennials.