United States of America

Optimistic and Favouring Smaller Government

U.S. Millennials report less satisfaction with work-life balance compared to their southern neighbours in the Americas

Millennials in the United States are, on average, less satisfied with life than their counterparts in Latin America, but report similar levels of satisfaction compared to their neighbours in North America and Europe (20% top 2 box satisfaction). In the U.S., this can be attributed to dissatisfaction with “the balance between the time you spend on your paid work and the time you spend on other aspects of your life”, or work-life balance, and the “present state of the economy”. U.S. Millennials’ responses to those questions, explain more of the variance in their poor ratings of life satisfaction than they do on dissatisfaction with life across the globe. Nevertheless, a majority of U.S. Millennials are optimistic about their future (54% in the U.S. agree with the statement I’m always optimistic about my future). This level of optimism is the lowest in the Americas, where an even higher average number of Millennials are optimistic, but it is higher than all other countries, except for India and Malaysia.

 

This positive outlook may be partially related to Millennials’ general sense of accomplishment in the Americas, which is greater here, and in the United States (48% agree) than almost all other countries. While this relationship exists across the globe, there is some variation in optimism and accomplishment within the United States. Millennials living in the Western United States report the highest level of optimism (57% agree) compared to those living in the Northeast (51% agree). This is in contrast to the majority of Northeasterners that feel a general sense of accomplishment (52% agree) and the less than a majority that feel a sense of accomplishment in the West (45% agree).

 

The 2015 IRIS Millennials Survey confirms the finding of recent studies on work-life balance that it’s not just older workers that are finding it difficult to navigate current economic conditions. Millennials are also finding it very difficult. U.S. Millennials report less satisfaction with work-life balance (15% top 2 box) compared to their southern neighbours in the Americas, but, on average, look similar to Millennials in other Northern Hemisphere countries. Within the U.S., Millennials living in the South are also more satisfied with work-life balance, compared to their Northern and Western neighbours. This reflects the trend of higher satisfaction with work-life balance, in aggregate, in regions with lower income per capita, both outside and within the U.S.

 

Millennials in the United States are notably much less likely to vote in regional and national elections compared to their older cohorts (roughly half as likely). This may be because they place less stock in the government’s ability to be an effective problem solver of the country’s biggest problems. Deadlock in Congress and an inability to pass required legislation or even fund the operation of the government (see reports of the United States federal government shut down in 2014) have not helped to build confidence.

 

Our findings from the 2015 IRIS Millennials Survey provide even more support that Millennials are not looking to the government for help. Just less than half of Millennials in the U.S. agree that the government, not the private sector, should be primarily concerned with solving the country’s problems. Only China and Japan have larger majorities that disagree with this statement, seemingly being in favour of a more limited government (58% and 57%, respectively, compared to 52% in the U.S.). However, slight majorities actually agree with the statement that the government should be concerned with solving problems in the United States, except in the South, which drags down the overall number in agreement. Only 41 percent in the U.S. South agree that the government should be primarily involved.

 

About half of Millennials in the United States agree that they would prefer to do work that is in the public interest. However, not surprisingly, those who think the private sector should solve the country’s problems are more likely to want to do work in the public interest (61% to 42% in the U.S.). Nevertheless, in both groups, those who think the government should solve the country’s problems and those who think the private sector should solve the country’s problems, large majorities think it is their personal responsibility to help those worse off than me. Overall, 70 percent of Millennials in the United States agree with that statement, and agreement is high within all regions of the U.S. This suggests that Millennials are putting it on themselves and not relying on the government to solve today’s problems.

Explore More Countries

Contact Us

Send us a message and we'll get back to you as soon as we can!

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt
WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux