A new survey indicates that a large number of Millennials have a growing support for financial institutions, corporations, labor unions, and universities but do not view religious institutions or the media in a favorable light.
According to the survey released by the Pew Research Center, Millennials— generally regarded as the generation born between 1982 and 2004— have a much more favorable perspective of colleges compared to past generations. The survey found that seventy-three percent of Millennials believe college has a positive impact on the United States, while 65% of Generation X and 59% of Baby Boomers believe college to be beneficial.
This data matches a survey conducted in 2010 which found that 39% of 18 to 24 year olds were enrolled in college as of 2008.
Millennials also showed an increase in support for banks and financial institutions. The latest numbers show that 45% of Millennials believe banks have a positive impact on the country compared with 35% five years ago. Still, the overall numbers from all groups surveyed show that 47% view banks in a negative light compared to 40% who support banks.
55% of those surveyed spoke positively about religious institutions. When it comes to the older generations, religion fares better with 62% of Generation X and 67% of Baby Boomers supporting religion. Pew reports that this marks the first time that Millennial perceptions of religion drop below that of older generations. A November 2015 report from the Pew Research Center also found that Millennials were less likely to believe in God than any other age group.
When it comes to what Millennials oppose, media institutions are at the top of the list. Only 27% of Millennials responded favorably to national news media. This represents a 40% drop from five years ago. Generation X responded favorably at 26% and only 23% of Boomers support media institutions.
While these numbers indicate a growing mistrust of larger media organizations among Millennials, it is interesting to note that many of these media outlets are owned by the same corporations that 38% of Millennials surveyed said they view favorably. Also, some of the same corporations that a growing number of Millennials favor are owned or in business with the banks and financial institutions 45% of Millennials seem to support.
Overall, this survey paints a picture of Millennials who favor college and universities and strongly distrust religious institutions. They also seem to view banks, corporations, and media in a negative light but there may be a growing acceptance of banks and corporations. Another interesting facet of the Millennial generation comes from a recent poll which found that Millennials seem to support politicians who want to grow the size of the federal government, including Donald Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders.
The survey was completed by the Pew Research Center between Aug. 27 – Oct. 4, 2015.
This article was updated January 11, 2016 at 1:55 p.m.