Younger generations (Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z) now make up a clear majority of America’s voting-eligible population. As of November 2018, nearly six-in-ten adults eligible to vote (59%) were from one of these three generations, with Boomers and older generations making up the other 41%.
However, young adults have historically been less likely to vote than their older counterparts, and these younger generations have followed that same pattern, turning out to vote at lower rates than older generations in recent elections.
In the 2016 election, Millennials and Gen Xers cast more votes than Boomers and older generations, giving the younger generations a slight majority of total votes cast.
However, higher shares of Silent/Greatest generation eligible voters (70%) and Boomers (69%) reported voting in the 2016 election compared with Gen X (63%) and Millennial (51%) eligible voters. Going forward, Millennial turnout may increase as this generation grows older.
Generational differences in political attitudes and partisan affiliation are as wide as they have been in decades. Among registered voters, 59% of Millennials affiliate with the Democratic Party or lean Democratic, compared with about half of Boomers and Gen Xers (48% each) and 43% of the Silent Generation. With this divide comes generational differences on specific issue areas, from views of racial discrimination and immigration to foreign policy and the scope of government.