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Census: After uptick, voting among young people dips

04/24/2014 11:34 AM

04/24/2014 11:52 AM

A fresh report from the U.S. Census Bureau concludes that a 21st century trend of increasing turnout among young voters has kicked into reverse.

Voting, it seems, remains the domain of geezers.

Voting rates did climb for 18- to 24-year-olds in 2004 and again in 2008. But the Census


released Thursday found the rate dipping back down to 38 percent from 44.3 percent four years earlier.

“The young-adult voting gap closed somewhat from 2000 to 2008 but opened up a bit again in 2012,” sThom File, a sociologist in the Census Bureau’s Social, Economic and Housing Statistics Division, said in a news release. “Age-based voting patterns are not set in stone. For example as recently as 1992, the nation’s oldest voters did not vote at a level higher than all other age groups.”

Still, the oldest voters are the most reliable voters. (Which may explain why Medicare funding is more secure than that for student loans.)

The Census Bureau notes that in every U.S. presidential election since 1964, that youngest voting age group has turned out at lower rates than all others. In contrast, Americans 65 and older have voted at higher rates than all other age groups since the 1996 election.

Basically, the older you get, the more you vote.


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