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New Census Data Confirm Increase in Youth Voter Turnout In 2008 Election

Youth Voter Turnout Rate Rose to 51.1 Percent, Third Highest Rate Ever: 2 Million More Young People Voted Than in 2004

The fact sheet on youth voter turnout and trends in 2008 and a 50-state breakdown can be downloaded here (PDF). The press release is here.

Tisch College, Tufts University – Nearly two million more young Americans under the age of 30 voted in the 2008 presidential elections as compared to the 2004 elections, according to new Census data analyzed and released by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University’s Tisch College.

The increase is a continuation of the trend observed in the 2004 and 2006 elections. Youth turnout was 11 percentage points higher than in 1996, which was the low point after decades of decline. While young people increased their turnout significantly in 2008, older adults voted at lower rates than in 2004 and only slightly above their 2000 level.

Although overall youth turnout was high in the 2008 presidential election, there were important differences in turnout rates. Young African Americans posted the highest turnout rate ever observed for any racial or ethnic group of young Americans since 1972.

The gap in turnout by educational attainment remained large; voter turnout of young people without college experience was 36%, compared to a 62% rate among young people with college experience. (About half of the young adult population has some college experience.) There was also a significant gender gap in turnout: young women voted at a rate eight points above young men.

“We have now seen three consecutive presidential elections with substantial increases in youth turnout,” said CIRCLE Director Peter Levine. “We appear to have entered a new era of stronger youth engagement—also shown by high rates of volunteering and community service. But there are persistent gaps in engagement, with less advantaged youth still mostly left out. We must find ways to engage and expand civic opportunities for this cohort of young people.”

 Presidential Election Year 18-24 Citizens 25 and older Citizens 18-29 Citizens 30 and older Citizens
         
1972 52.1% 68.4% 55.4% 69.5%
1976 44.4% 65.4% 48.8% 67.0%
1980 43.4% 68.5% 48.2% 70.6%
1984 44.3% 68.9% 49.1% 71.2%
1988 39.9% 65.8% 43.8% 68.5%
1992 48.6% 70.5% 52.0% 72.4%
1996 35.6% 61.6% 39.6% 63.6%
2000 36.1% 62.9% 40.3% 64.6%
2004 46.7% 66.3% 49.0% 67.7%
2008 48.5% 65.8% 51.1% 67.0%

101 Responses to “New Census Data Confirm Increase in Youth Voter Turnout In 2008 Election”

  1. links for 2009-04-29 - Kevin Bondelli’s Youth Vote Blog Says:

    [...] CIRCLE – A nonpartisan research center studying youth civic engagement and civic education. » New C… [...]

  2. Stephen Ratner: It’s Not Enough | Second Reagan Revolution Says:

    [...] an array of college students obsessed with the Obama “cool” factor turned out to vote (http://www.civicyouth.org/?p=339). After all, how many guys can boast a phone book full of millions of college-aged girls to text [...]

  3. ezinez Says:

    Great table, I can see that you are develop very fast, good luck to you!

  4. Pit Bikes Says:

    “According to CIRCLE’s calculation, the increase in youth votes accounts for at least 60% of the overall increase in the number of votes, suggesting that this year’s election mobilized young people more than any other age groups.”

    Thats pretty nice. Go young ppl!

    -the cover letter examples guy

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    Nowadays, youth have better conditions to study so they have more knowledge to chose the right people to help their country.

  6. Taylor - Hoteles En Málaga Says:

    The entire calculation looks quite stable, because the ration between the period of time and percentage is minimized. Thanks for sharing

  7. senuke Says:

    “The gap in turnout by educational attainment remained large; voter turnout of young people without college experience was 36%, compared to a 62% rate among young people with college experience.” I see.

  8. Online Diploma Says:

    Young African Americans posted the highest turnout rate ever observed for any racial or ethnic group of young Americans since 1972.
    Online highschool

  9. Sell Gold For Cash Says:

    It’s no surprise to see that Young African Americans posted the highest turnout rate ever seeing as how Obama was running, but it’s great to see that the overall youth turnout was exceptional.

  10. Xbox 360 Skins Says:

    “Older adults voted at lower rates than in 2004″ that is really interesting considering it was one of the most important elections in recent history. It looks like the youth vote really made a difference.

  11. Free web site hosting Says:

    Great numbers, it tell everything for me.
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  12. Molly - Chambre A Vienne Says:

    Very interesting information as well as the manner of presentation. This kind of question is one of the most burning ones. Thanks for sharing and concern.

  13. Phan mem ke toan Says:

    I think that now old people more lazy than before, they just want to stay at home all day.

  14. Audiophile Says:

    Very great increasing but how about in the future, will it decrease?

  15. A1Article Says:

    Nice table, now I can understand more about youth and elder.
    Thank you.

  16. free karaoke Says:

    This is really inspiring and shows that the young generation are getting back the faith on the overall government system. More and more of them are participating as they now truly believe that they can contribute in changes and good decisions. Its nice for the country.

  17. HGH Says:

    The entire calculation looks quite stable, because the ration between the period of time and percentage is minimized. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Steve Says:

    I am an old man, but always like and encourage enthusiasm among the younger generation. Great to see the table.

  19. Article directory Says:

    Your post is very great with a nice table, now I can understand more about civic education.
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  20. Florida Contractor Says:

    Good Chart prepared with all age group like that yes civic education might have new funda but one of important.

  21. Florida Contractor Says:

    Looking for some more interesting stuffs.

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  23. Awek comel Says:

    Thanks for the nice insight.

  24. Awek seksi Says:

    You said the right way. I am glad someone finally wrote about it

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    Thanks for the story. Pretty interesting…

  26. internet marketing Melbourne Says:

    the youth is increasingly becoming involved in being a part of the micro and macro political systems and finally employing their right of voice to decide who should lead and decide their future

  27. sports flooring Says:

    I think the system needs to be changed so that everyone who is a citizen and not a minor should vote. Simple as that!

  28. kitchen renovation Says:

    I don’t think that ‘forcing’ them to vote is an answer. We just needs to change the political landscape and finally have politicians who appeal to the young

  29. linkvana Says:

    Great numbers, it tell everything for me.
    Thank you very much. It’s no surprise to see that Young African Americans posted the highest turnout rate ever seeing.

  30. SENuke Says:

    the youth is increasingly becoming involved in being a part of the micro and macro political systems and finally employing their right of voice to decide who should lead and decide their future totally agree with you dude

  31. School Diploma Says:

    Thanks for the information. It’s been very useful for me!

  32. Lord of the Rings Says:

    I really like your post.

  33. Hobbit Says:

    Great job!

  34. Project Management Certification Says:

    With a young candidate like Obama, the younger generation were more galvanized to vote.

  35. western digital Says:

    very usefull article! keep the good work

  36. frank08 Says:

    Do you think social networking sites have increased the likelihood of a youth vote? It seems to me that these sites were employed to great effect by the campaigns and allowed youth to dabble in advocacy from the safety of their computers before going out and voting.

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  38. Human Resource Management Says:

    thx for pdf and press release link resource, youth getting on their responsibility.

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    new era, full of hope!

  40. Rehab Says:

    That was a nice statistics board. I wonder how many youths are new registrants this year?

  41. Beads Says:

    Young people are becoming more interested in politics because they have better education as to the effects that different candidates can have not only on the country as a whole but their direct employment prospects as a young person.

  42. MasterCleanse Says:

    That’s good. More are interested in who is running the country.

  43. warez dll Says:

    very usefull article! keep the good work

  44. neil Says:

    It was very refreshing to see that the youth voters did come out this election. The down side is, Obama’s high ratings are starting to slide. People are questioning what he has actually gotten accomplished so far.

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    Keep going, I like what I read so far. Don’t stop.

  46. Jamorama Says:

    Nice table, it tell everything for me.
    Thanks for the insight.

  47. Government Watch Says:

    Young voters were the difference in the last election. I think that is a good thing, it means more of the population is being represented.

  48. Rarecity Says:

    Interesting that 2008 was so inline with 1972.

  49. cruz Says:

    This is interesting research you have gathered. The table really shows election differences.

  50. iCarly Ringtone Says:

    Very great increasing but how about in the future, will it decrease?

  51. Mark Says:

    Youth can’t really solve all our problem, but they can still contribute something. I hope every youth will participate to the election.

  52. Closet organizer systems Says:

    That’s a good sign. I bet the next election will have even higher turnout.

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  56. Makale Says:

    That’s a good sign. I bet the next election will have even higher turnout.

  57. large Storage Boxes Says:

    Yes that’s a good news for us as the youth voter are more conscious about their voting rights.They’ll be more serious towards the politics & their involvement in it.

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    Nowadays, young people have more modern facilities that provide good conditions to study providing them with more knowledge to chose the correct people to help their country.

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    high rates of volunteering and community service. But there are persistent gaps in engagement, with less advantaged youth still mostly left out. We must find ways to engage and expand civic opportunities for this cohort of young people.”

  62. communication essays Says:

    i agree with edinburgh. the private sectro should take a lead in increasing people’s awareness about what they can offer to society. the government should also be there to promote volunteerism at all age group

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  64. Jawatan Kosong Says:

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    Interesting subject but complicated issue.

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    Thanks for the great information.

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    Thank you for this analysis because I’m student of sociological department and I need such surveys for my diploma. I think I can take this subject for the basis. Keep up your work.

  72. Beads and findings Says:

    I think young voters are fed up with the way the country is being run and want their voice to be heard.

  73. seks Melayu Says:

    When voters request or needs are not met, they then to get frustrated and angry. It is as simple as that.

  74. Compost Tumbler Says:

    “Older adults voted at lower rates than in 2004″ that is really interesting considering it was one of the most important elections in recent history. It looks like the youth vote really made a difference.

  75. subway coupons Says:

    This just shows that todays youth has not yet applied the full power through voting. More should be done to help let young people know how important it is to vote.

  76. jobs Says:

    I think it is possible, to some extent, that they youth vote was not relevant on this issue due to the inexperience or indifference of that voter segment to the amendment. If they did not express a preference at all, then the older vote would sway the outcome.

  77. weekend jobs Says:

    I have no explanation why the amendment would have been rejected in 2006. Were the amendments worded exactly the same in both years? That would certainly be a factor if not.

  78. Essay Help Says:

    It feels great to know that the youth participated in an important event like this. This is a good sign that they are not just the happy-go-lucky youngsters – they care about the country and the government.

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  88. Millennials are a “we” not “me” generation | | Mike & MorleyMike & Morley Says:

    [...] Millennial participation in that most basic of American rights and civic actions—voting—is also greater than for previous generations of young people. According to census data reported by CIRCLE, an organization that researches and influences youthful political participation, 49% of those 18-24 and 51% of those 18-29 voted in the 2008 presidential election. With one exception, this was the highest youth participation in any presidential election since 1972, when Democratic candidate, George McGovern targeted and won young people (if little else). It was well above the numbers in 1996 (36% for 18-24 year olds and 40% for 18-29 year olds) when the “youth vote” was entirely Gen-X. (http://www.civicyouth.org/new-census-data-confirm-increase-in-youth-voter-turnout-in-2008-election/) [...]

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  90. Romney and Obama’s Totally Pointless Battle for Youths | Con Games Says:

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  93. The Kids In The (Convention) Hall: A Millennial Perspective On The DNC – Forbes | Dubai News|Dubai Hotels|Dubai Business Says:

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  95. The politics of social media « A. M. Wild Gomez Says:

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  96. Kingmakers No More: Is Gen Y Too Jaded To Vote? - Forbes Says:

    [...] 2008 presidential election saw the third-highest youth voter turnout in history and President Obama’s ability to connect with and mobilize young Americans was widely lauded as a [...]

  97. Young Americans find power in high voter turn out | Bird By Bird Says:

    [...] College voters are a huge demographic in national elections and can have a huge effect on voter involvement, as we saw with the 2008 elections. In 2008, “nearly 2 million more young Americans under the age of 30” voted in the presidential election than in 2004, according to census data from The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement. [...]

  98. Young Voter Trend: Different from 2008? « Luke LeSourd's Blog Says:

    [...] experienced a youth movement that was unprecedented in the United States history.  According to CIRCLE.com, the youth voter turnout rose 51.1 percent, which is the third highest rate ever.  2 million more [...]

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