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The youngest American adults are the least nationalistic

A new poll shows Generation Z just isn’t that into the USA.

Fridays For Future International March In Aachen
Teenagers are very worried about climate change, not so interested in national identity.
Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images

A new poll from Morning Consult takes a detailed look at the views of what it calls “Gen Z adults” — basically people between the ages of 18 and 21 — and finds that national identity is strikingly less important to the youngest voting-age Americans than it is to older ones.

In the poll, which surveyed 3,022 American adults, 63 percent of older adults say that being American is “very important” to their identity, versus only about a third of Gen Z adults. At the same time, Generation Z exhibits less pride in America, with fewer of its members saying they see the United States as a positive example for the world.

This lower level of nationalism is part and parcel of an overall leftward tilt among the Gen Z cohort. Morning Consult reports that President Trump has a 20 percent approval rating with the youngest Americans (64 percent disapprove), and 14 percent of Gen Z adults identify as Republicans compared to 34 percent as Democrats.

The millennial generation, famously, tilts well to the left even as its members have aged. That’s led a lot of people to wonder whether the pendulum will swing the other way with the younger cohort coming up behind them. Obviously, the line between different generations is largely arbitrary, so there’s no guarantee the large majority of Gen Z people who are still under 18 will follow this narrow slice of Gen Z adults in their political leanings. But from what we can tell so far, at least, that’s not the case. Generation Z is even more diverse and better-educated than the millennial cohort and follows millennials in adopting a much more progressive worldview than what’s seen with older adults.

The good news for the GOP is that Gen Z adults also don’t seem very interested in politics. Only 8 percent say they pay close attention to political news, and they are 20 percentage points less likely than older adults to say they have strongly held political views.