Jun 14, 2018
This report — part of a series examining critical security challenges in 2040 — uses survey data from a nationally representative sample of adults to examine perceptions of economic and national security and compare attitudes and opinions of millennials with those of previous generations. It concludes by making inferences about potential millennial concerns about security in the year 2040.
Millennials, those born between 1982 and 2000, are the largest segment of the U.S. population, with 84.3 million people, and by 2040, they will account for an even larger segment of the population. As these young Americans become more prominent in all professional fields — politics, government, media, academia, business — their attitudes, preferences, and beliefs will have increasing weight in public discourse and U.S. policy toward security. But the millennial outlook has not been carefully studied. Do their attitudes toward security differ from the views of previous generations? And if so, what do these perceptions imply for U.S. security policy in 2040? This report — part of a series examining critical security challenges in 2040 — analyzes survey data from a nationally representative sample of adults, examines perceptions of economic and national security, compares attitudes and opinions of millennials with previous generations, and concludes by making inferences about potential millennial concerns about security in the year 2040. The report reveals that attitudes and opinions of security tend to pattern with age, not generation. Specifically, older people expressed more worry about national security topics than younger people, while younger people expressed more worry about economic security. Younger people also were less likely than older people to report that living in a democracy was important to them.
Survey data revealed some statistically significant differences in the attitudes of younger Americans toward economic and national security, along with some notable continuities with the views of older Americans.