The Knights of Columbus have just released the results of a study examining the spirituality of Millennials — young adults between the ages of 18-29.
The survey, conducted in partnership with the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, looked at moral values, religious views, religious experiences and social issues. A cross-section of 2,243 Americans, including an oversample of 1,006 Millennials, were included in the online panel (margin of error +/- 2-3%). The data was collected between Dec 23, 2009 and January 4, 2010.
Among the key findings:
- The primary long-term goal of Millennials, as compared to previous generations, is to be spiritual or closer to God.
- Millennials believe the country is headed in the wrong direction and that the nation comes up short in its commitment to social values.
- Millennials — including those who are Catholic — believe in God and volunteer their time to church or community. (The study found that practicing Catholics are particularly philanthropic.)
- Additionally, six out of ten Millennials believe abortion and marital infidelity are wrong. Unfortunately, the majority also believe it’s okay to practice more than one faith, and that morality is relative.
Particularly interesting in my view is the comparisons between Millennials and previous generations — Generation Xers, Baby Boomers, and the Greatest Generation. While the Millennials may be suffering from moral relativism, they seem to have more in common with the Greatest Generation than they do with Baby Boomers or Generation Xers.
Also noteworthy is the fact that the majority of Millennials, including two thirds of the Catholics, say they would like to learn more about their own religious faiths.
You can read the full results here.