CHICAGO, Feb. 19, 2013—The Robert R. McCormick Foundation in partnership with the National Conference on Citizenship releases a new infographic that compares the civic health of Illinois Millennials (residents 18-29), with their national peers (analysis includes 50 states and the District of Columbia). The data reveals that Illinois youth are slightly outpacing the national averages on such indicators as making donations and participating in political discussions.
They fall near the bottom, however, on key forms of participation such as voting in local elections and neighborhood engagement. This information allows us to pinpoint areas for growth and help identify strategies to encourage young citizens to be more engaged.
Illinois Millennials are MORE likely than their national peers to:
– Discuss politics (ranking 13th)
– Donate to community organizations (ranking 22nd)
– Have confidence in the media (ranking 13th)
Illinois Millennials are LESS likely than their national peers to:
– Vote regularly in local elections (ranking 47th)
– Work with neighbors to address community problems (ranking 48th)
– Speak to or exchange favors with neighbors (ranking 45th and 42nd, respectively)
The Illinois findings build upon a national report recently released by NCoC in partnership with CIRCLE, Mobilize.org and the Harvard Institute of Politics. “While Millennials in Illinois are engaged in their communities in diverse and meaningful ways, there is still much work to be done. The startling gaps in their participation remind us of the need to cultivate more active participation with those who are the future of our democracy,” said Michael Weiser, who chairs the National Conference on Citizenship and who was a Chicago resident for 50 years.
“The bottom line is our democracy cannot thrive if each generation isn’t fully prepared to take the reins and become active and effective participants in the civic process,” said David Hiller, President and CEO, Robert R. McCormick Foundation. “The good news is there are many efforts underway to reverse these trends and prepare youth to gain the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to make a difference in their schools and communities.”
To learn more about the McCormick Foundation’s civic engagement and learning initiatives click here.
About the Robert R. McCormick Foundation
The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is committed to fostering communities of educated, informed and engaged citizens. Through philanthropic programs, Cantigny Park and museums, the Foundation helps develop citizen leaders and works to make life better in our communities. The Foundation was established as a charitable trust in 1955, upon the death of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is one of the nation’s largest foundations, with more than $1 billion in assets. For more information, please visit www.McCormickFoundation.org.
About The National Conference on Citizenship
At the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), we believe everyone has the power to make a difference in how their community and country thrive.
We are a dynamic, non-partisan nonprofit working at the forefront of our nation’s civic life. We continuously explore what shapes today’s citizenry, define the evolving role of the individual in our democracy, and uncover ways to motivate greater participation. Through our events, research, and reports, NCoC expands our nation’s contemporary understanding of what it means to be a citizen. We seek new ideas and approaches for creating greater civic health and vitality throughout the United States. More information is available at www.ncoc.org.