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Young people come to politics from a wide variety of experiences. They are diverse in terms of racial and ethnic backgrounds, educational experience, and work situation. The following is a brief summary of key facts about young people: who they are, where they live, and what they are currently doing in life.
- There are 46 million young people under 30 who are eligible to vote in the 2012 election
- There are 17 million eligible young voters between 18-21 years old
- Youth (18-29) make up 21.3% of the eligible voter population in 2012
- New eligible voters (18-21) make up 7.5% of the eligible voting population
States with the highest percentage of eligible young voters (18-29)
- Utah (27.8%)
- Washington, DC (26.2%)
- California (23.5%)
- Arkansas (23.2%)
- Texas (23.10%)
States with highest percentage of NEW eligible voters (18-21)
- Massachusetts (9.5%)
- California (9.0%)
- Utah (8.9%)
- New Jersey (8.8%)
- Nebraska (8.6%)
For more information on youth voting in a particular state, see the map on CIRCLE’s homepage.
- There are 11 million 18-24 year old eligible college student voters
- 18-24 year old college students make up approximately 24.4% of all eligible young voters.
- In March 2012 12.6% of 18-29 eligible voters were unemployed compared to 6.7% of eligible voters over 30.
- Unemployment was significantly higher among young eligible voters without college experience (20.1%) than among young eligible voters with college experience (8.1%).
- The difference in unemployment rates between 18-29 year olds and those over 30 was higher for those without college experience (11.0%) than for those with college experience (2.6%)
Sources: CIRCLE Analysis of Current Population Survey (CPS) 2012 March Basic Supplement
 Calculation is based on CIRCLE analysis of Current Population Survey (CPS) 2012 March Basic Supplement
 Calculation is based on CIRCLE analysis of 2010 Census Brief
Unemployment figures are not seasonally adjusted