The 2006 Civic and Political Health of the Nation Survey

  • October 03, 2006

The 2006 National Civic and Political Health Survey (CPHS) is the most up-to-date and detailed look at how young Americans are participating in politics and communities and their attitudes towards government and current issues. This report examines the civic engagement of young Americans and adults across 19 core measures of engagement. It also examines attitudes towards government, levels of political knowledge, partisanship, and views of elections and politics.

The survey was conducted from April 27 to June 11, 2006 by telephone and online survey and released on October 3, 2006. The survey provides nationally representative samples of young people and adults. Overall, 1,700 young people ages 15 to 25 were surveyed along with 550 adults ages 26 and older. The survey includes over-samples of young Latinos, African-Americans, and Asian-Americans.

Some major findings from the 2006 CPHS:

  • There is broad engagement, yet some are disengaged.
  • African-Americans and Asian-Americans are engaged; many Latinos have protested.
  • Young people have lost confidence in government.
  • Political knowledge is generally poor, and it matters.
  • Young people are tolerant, but somewhat less so than in 2002.
  • Young people are paying attention to the news, discussing politics, and leaning to the Democrats.
  • People are more likely to participate if they follow the news and are asked to vote or volunteer.
  • Fewer young people today see their generation as unique, compared to four years ago.