Younger Americans care deeply about being surrounded by like-minded people; nearly half would consider moving to do so
Ahead of the upcoming election, a new survey from realtor.com® found that while most Americans want to live where their views are in the majority, younger Americans (18-34 year-olds) have an even stronger desire for a like-minded political community and are more likely to move based on their political preferences. According to the data, 61% of younger respondents feel strongly or somewhat strongly about living in a community with similar beliefs and 48% would consider moving to make this happen.
During the second half of September, realtor.com® and YouGov surveyed 2,000 Americans about their political views, whether those views impact where they want to live and their likelihood of moving based on the outcome of the election.
“Younger Americans tend to be more connected to political causes they believe in, and typically have more flexibility when it comes to moving around and trying out different places to live. Our data shows that being surrounded by people with similar political beliefs is important to this group and will likely play a part in where they eventually decide to settle down,” said George Ratiu, senior economist, realtor.com®. “One reason older respondents may be less inclined to relocate is because they live in a place that they feel best meets their needs and feel connected to their community.”
Election results could lead to more people moving
While we’ve already seen that some voters are moving to key swing states, this survey indicated that the trend could heighten post-election. Specifically:
Fifty-five percent of respondents think it’s important or extremely important to live in a community that shares your political beliefs.
Twenty percent of respondents have considered moving to a place where their politics align with their community and 21% are waiting for the outcome of the election.
Twelve percent of respondents said they would definitely move if their candidate doesn’t win the election and 23% said they would consider it.
Younger Americans are more inclined to let political views influence where they live
Younger Americans feel most strongly about wanting their views to align, with 61% saying it’s extremely or somewhat important versus 49% of older Americans (those 55 and older).
Younger respondents were less likely to feel that their views currently align with the majority where they live — 38% of younger Americans, versus 44% of older Americans.
Of those whose views don’t align with the majority, 24% of younger Americans have considered moving and an additional 24% are waiting to see who wins the election to decide. By contrast, 15% of older Americans whose views don’t align have considered moving and 19% are waiting on election results.
Eighteen percent of younger Americans said they would definitely move if their candidate doesn’t win the election, versus just 6% of older respondents.
Majorities in both parties seek to align with their communities
Self-identified Democrats feel more strongly about aligning with the majority (63%) versus Republicans (55%).
Democrats (14%) were more likely to have considered moving somewhere where their political views better align and 12% are waiting to see who wins the election.
Just 8% of Republicans said they have considered moving somewhere where their political views better align and 7% are waiting to see.
Democrats (45%) were more likely to consider moving if their candidate doesn’t win the election than Republicans (28%).
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,000 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 18th – 24th September 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all U.S. adults (aged 18+).
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