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Majority of Americans Say Generational Differences are Overrated, but that doesn’t mean they do not exist

Much is made of the generational differences today and there are a lot of differences. Some of it has to do with the technology younger generations have had all their lives while older ones have had to play catch-up. In fact, almost three in five Americans (58%) say older generations have it harder because they didn’t come of age with technology and this includes majorities from each generation. This is from an online survey conducted among 2,261 U.S. adults, 18 and older between June 25 and 26, 2019. But, on the other side, just over one-third (35%) say younger generations have it harder because of technology with this rising to over two in five who are Gen Z (43%) and Millennial (43%).

 

A majority of Americans (55%) also say generational differences are overrated. Yet some differences are clear. When asked which generation is most likely to donate to charity, almost half of Americans (47%) say Baby Boomers while over two in five each say Millennials (23%) and Gen Xers (22%) and one in ten say Gen Z (9%). While most generations say it is most likely Baby Boomers are the ones who donate to charity, not so for Gen Z where over one-third (35%) say Millennials are most likely to do so.

 

After politics, one of the starkest differences may be media-related. Over two in five Americans (44%) say the media industry is most likely to market to Millennials, one in five (19%) say they are most likely to market to Gen Z and smaller numbers say they primarily market to Gen X (15%) and Baby Boomers (9%). But, when it comes to print media, there is a clear divide. When asked which generation is most likely to read a newspaper, either online or in print, at least a few times a week, over three in five (62%) say Baby Boomers while much smaller numbers say Gen X (17%), Millennials (14%) and Gen Z (8%). And, at least a majority of each generation say it is most likely that Baby Boomers are the ones reading papers.

 

As local journalism seems to be fading away with the decline of papers from The Vindicator to The Tampa Tribune the case needs to be made to younger generations about the value these papers and the journalists who report for them bring to their communities and the nation as a whole.  

 

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