Why do younger generations tend to identify as liberals?

Hallie Gardner

English: Ballot Box showing preferential voting
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my high school government class, my teacher walked us through the good ol’ Political Compass Test. For those of you that haven’t heard of it, the test is comprised of a series of statements that you answer on a scale from ‘strongly disagree’ to ‘strongly agree’. When we finished up and turned in our answers, a high concentration of the class identified, or at least leaned, towards the left.  At the time, I didn’t think anything of it. However, recently, I’ve been doing a little research about why younger people tend to identify more with the liberal party, and it makes sense. Here’s why:

-Our generation is different; plain and simple. We aren’t our parents and we definitely aren’t our grandparents.


-We like our freedom. The majority of young people say yes to issues like gay rights, marijuana regulation, erradicating racism, freedom against unwarranted searches and siezures, and going green.

-We have access to limitless information at our fingertips, allowing us to make our own decisions and create our own beliefs.

And yes, these are very big, broad generalizations for my generation, but research shows that “young Americans ages 18-29 are less critical of government, more open to change, more trusting overall, and more socially liberal” (Reason-Rupe Survey).

When thinking about it, it makes sense. I identify as a liberal; however, I’m only 20 years old. I agree with the above statements, but I don’t doubt that my views will change as I age. That doesn’t necessarily mean I will become a staunch, hardcore republican, but I would like to think I’ll keep my mind open.