We’ve shown how youth voting differs a great deal by education level. In April CIRCLE calculated the 2010 youth voter turnout using the newly-released Census Current Population Survey (CPS) data. The analysis included estimates by educational experience, showing dramatic differences. A 16 percentage point gap separates the turnout of those with college experience from those without.
This release also included an estimate of college student voter turnout (18-24), which was 26.5%, just slightly outside of the margin of error from the 2006 turnout of 27.3%. Both of these estimates are higher than that year’s turnout for all youth, indicating that, statistically speaking, current college students (on average) are more likely to vote than other youth (with the exception of young people who have graduated from college already).
As much as sample sizes allow, we tried to dig into college student voting to a greater extent. Here’s some of what we found for 2010:
The fact that 23% of current students didn’t vote because they were ‘out of town or away from home’ will concern a lot of people, including GOTV groups who work hard to make sure this happens as little as possible. It is also significant that only 12% of 2010 student non-voters did not vote because they were “not interested” since this counters many media portrayals of students, which rarely include political engagement.