See the data

Click this to dive into the data

output-onlinepngtools (27).png

The next generation is inexplicably optimistic 


By Cyrus Beschloss

A ruthless pandemic. A twitchy job market. Decades-deep racial fissures coming into sharper focus. There's slim evidence to suggest the kids are alright.


  • But that's exactly what they're saying.


Millions of young people are giving the COVID classroom another crack, and with the fresh start, it's worth studying how rising college Freshmen - at 2-year, 4-year, and technical colleges - feel about their world and futures.


Generation Lab partnered with NBC News to launch the NBC News/Generation Lab Poll of students in the United States.


Our goal: study big issues in America that we can't stop talking about

  • Issues like: Politics, health, trust in leaders, media and government, social issues, job and the economy.


Here's what we found

  • Incoming college Freshmen are wildly optimistic about their own futures, but pessimistic about the United States and the world.

  • They trust proximity. Local news, town officials and even local police.

  • Their support for certain polarizing social liberties far outpaces older generations', particularly on issues like sexual orientation, gender identity and abortion.