Reason-Rupe Public Opinion Survey

65% of Americans Say Millennials Are "Entitled," 58% of Millennials Agree


The latest Reason-Rupe poll of all Americans on landlines and cell phones finds mixed emotions when it comes to the youngest adult generation. Respondents were asked how well the following words described young people, ages 18-29:

Nearly two-thirds (65%) say the term "entitled" describes millennials very or somewhat well, but 30 percent said it did not describe the generation well. Seven in 10 say the term "selfish" also describes millennials very or somewhat well, while only 27 percent disagree.

Not all perceptions of millennials are negative. Sixty percent say the term "tolerant" does a good job describing young people, while 38 percent says it does not.

Although a majority, decidedly fewer say young people have a strong work ethic. Fifty-five percent say millennials are "hard working" and "responsible" while 43 percent disagree.

Significant differences between age cohorts emerge on young people's work ethic and personal responsibility:

Fully 77 percent of 18-29 year olds say their cohort is "responsible" while only 49 percent of Americans over 30 agree. Instead, 48 percent of Americans over 30 says "responsible" does not describe millennials.

Three-fourths (74%) of 18-29 year olds say their cohort is "hard working," but only 49 percent of people over 30 shares this view. Rather, 47 percent of older Americans say millennials are not hardworking.

There is generally more agreement among the cohorts on whether young people are entitled or tolerant. Young people are 9 points more likely to say they are tolerant (67% to 58%) and 9 points less likely to say they are entitled (58% to 67%).

Interestingly, Americans under 30 are as likely as those over 30 to say 18-29 year olds are selfish (71%).

Republicans are considerably less likely to have a favorable view of young people's work ethic these days. While 64 percent of Democrats say "hard working" describes millennials only 45 percent of Republicans agree. Instead a majority (52%) of Republicans say "hard working" does not do a good job describing young adults. The same numbers are true for the term "responsible." Democrats believe young people are responsible, while most Republicans do not.

Republicans are also considerably less likely to view millennials as "tolerant." While 68 percent of Democrats think the term "tolerant' accurately describes millennials, only 51 percent of Republicans agree.

The Reason-Rupe national telephone poll, executed by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, conducted live interviews with 1000 adults on cell phones (500) and landlines (500) August 6-10, 2014. The poll's margin of error is +/-3.7%. Full poll results can be found here. including poll toplines (pdf)  and crosstabs (xls).

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  1. By this time, I would speculate that even 81% of millennials are tired of these polls.

    1. I am the 19%. I enjoy the complaining.

  2. If we agree with you that millenials are the greatest, most libertarian generation ever, will you stop posting polls?

    1. I believe the proper response would be: “Though I am tired of these poll posts, I thank you for the information. It is a reflection of how likely Liberty has taken hold, or will catch on, among the young”

    2. Millennials are the ones who will be paying off the 20 trillion dollars that everyone else is racking up in debt.

      I do suppose it is some consolation that we are polling them about it.

      Well i suppose i should not say they will be paying off the debt…they will be paying off the interest of that debt until they are dead…the 20 trillion will never be payed off in their life time.

  3. I’m sure somebody is going to jump in here and take issue with the concept of generational taxonomy.

    I’m not sure I’m one of those people. But I’m kinda getting tired of the bashing of Millenials. If there is such a thing as a “Millenial,” he or she didn’t grow up in a vacuum. If Millenials are entitled, then that probably reflects just as poorly on the parenting they received from Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers.

    1. *If Millenials are entitled, then that probably reflects just as poorly on the parenting they received from Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers.*

      Selfish, entitled AND blameless. Yay future!

      1. I’m not saying “blameless.”

        All I’m saying is that if generational taxonomy is a real thing, then we can just as easily call Baby Boomer and Gen-Exers “bad parents” as we can call Millenials “spoiled kids.”

        1. I think we can also call baby boomers entitled. If millennials are “entitled” then baby boomers are off the charts entitled.

          1. Well, most people are entitled to something or other.

          2. I think we can also call baby boomers entitled.

            Boomer: “Where did you learn this stuff?”

            Millenial: “From you, alright! I learned it from watching you!”

        2. If generational taxonomy is accurate, Chinese horoscopes are incredibly so, and traditional astrology paints personality profiles with laser-like precision.

    2. I take issue with taxonomy. My daughter is a millennial, no way is anybody going to kill and stuff her.

      1. They may not kill her first, but I’ll bet somebody is gonna stuff her.

    3. I have not seen the series of Millennial polls as “bashing” at all. They are political and appear to be a litmus of how liberty-minded young folks may be.

  4. Quit polling the millennials, already, perverts!

    1. There’s a trophy for that!

      1. So *that’s* what you call that paper the judge gave me. Just because I called millennials and asked them what they were wearing, for a unpublished poll I was doing.

    2. They’re old enough now. It’s OK.

      So what are we calling the next cohort after millennials?

      1. Jailbait.

        1. Hey 19…

      2. We’ll decide that as soon as we come up with a name for the last decade. The “oughts” is not going to cut it, but no one has come up with anything better. We can’t leave this up to the eventual “Remember the 00s” nostalgia show to decide how to pronounce it.

        1. I thought “naughties” was funny. But perhaps a bit too British.

      3. Obaminables.

  5. At the rate you poll them, how could they not think they are the most special-est of all possible snowflakes?

  6. It’s just not gonna stop, ever..

  7. “Tolerant” doesn’t make the economy hum, navel gazing hipsters.

  8. I think we’re entitled to know – what do Millenials think about this?

  9. Remember, this is the generation depicted during the first few seasons of South Park. For every spoiled Cartman, there’s also a Stan or Kyle that wants to work hard and do the right thing.

  10. New Reason-Rupe poll results:

    Millienials most polled generation ever.

    1. People used to go on an awful lot about Gen X too. And people still go on about “boomers” quite a bit. Maybe not so many polls, though.

      1. Not really. Gen X was already in the workforce by the time the internet started popping off, and no one really cared so much ‘what they thought’ – they weren’t the ‘target market’. they were the marketers.

        1. lol – that?t not really true – marketers and everyone else right selling anything now cares a great deal about what Gen X thinks – because they are in that sweet spot where most are making some money – and that?s all marketers care about.

          You can see this is advertisements and TV shows and the like – what are they parodying nowadays? Those things Gen Xers would recall from childhood.

          Why? Because they want their money.

    2. “New Reason-Rupe poll results:

      Millienials most polled generation ever.”

      Enter some tired sexual jokes or reference.

      1. Most poled generation ever?

  11. Shouldn’t the question be whether they act as if they are entitled, rather than whether they are in fact entitled? And entitled to what?

  12. In modern contexts I wouldn’t say being called ‘tolerant’ is something to be proud of.

      1. Show me a “tolerant” person in the modern context, and I’ll show you someone with zero tolerance for any ideas that deviate from the collective groupthink.

        1. I’m a tolerant person. You should see the shit I tolerate.

          1. Then you’re not tolerant. In the modern context, tolerance means not tolerating intolerance, with intolerance meaning any deviation from groupthink.

            Tolerance is intolerance of ideas.

            It means tolerance of things that cannot be changed, like race or sexuality, and intolerance of things that can be changed, like views on economics and politics.

            1. Blah, blah, yeah.

              Tolerance is too useful of a word to let it go like that.

              1. Sorry, Zeb, it’s gone the way of “liberal”

        2. I see what you mean, though. Morons have decided that “tolerance” means sort of the opposite of what it actually means.

          I think there are still a lot of actually tolerant people, though. Mostly people who don’t give a shit about politics or spend a lot of time worrying about whether they are racist.

          1. Well Zeb I would contend they are intolerant because they can’t tolerate how stupid and banal politics/politicians are.

            1. Ignoring them is a way of tolerating them. Hell, you can utterly loathe people and still tolerate them.

      2. Because “tolerant” too often boils down to “shrieking, hateful, self-righteous asshole of the current politically correct opinion”?

        1. Well, fuck those people. Words have meaning, damn it!

          1. tell that to liberals, What else would you expect from a group of people who coopted a word that is synonymous with freedom as a label for their brand that represents ideals that wholeheartedly embrace collective action, the antithesis of individual liberty.

            1. Liberals of that type make a lot of noise, but they still aren’t everyone.

            2. I’m going to be optimistic today, motherfuckers!

              1. I’m intolerant of optimists. Take your smiling face, and can-do spirit elsewhere, motherfucker! This is pessimist town!

              2. Words have meanings, eh Zeb? You’re literally worse than Hitler.

                1. But still not worse than Nicole.

      3. Because being ‘tolerant today’ means your tolerant of everyone who disagrees with you except for homophobes, bigots, and republicans (but I repeat myself).

  13. What do Millenials think about this?

    1. 84% Don’t Know/Refused

    2. As a millenial I think I think older generations will always complain about younger generations. I’m already complaining to niece and nephew about how they’re spoiled ingrates with awful cartoons and music. In my day we didn’t have Ipads in school, instead we had to lug around heavy text books.

      But in all seriousness grouping people by demographics and making general statements about a demographic is an irrational attribution bias sometimes called group attribution error. I prefer to treat people as individuals and at most comment on the principals of a group that people can freely associate or disassociate with such a political party not an age group.

      1. I?m not a millennial and I agree with you.

        Also – I think a great deal of this ?selfish? talk – is because millennials don?t see to have the loyalty to employers as others have.

        But I think other generations gave loyalty in a lot of cases where none was deserved – so I think millennials are treating employers more like employers are used to treating employees – expecting loyalty when giving none, etc, etc, etc.

        IE – I think millennials in this case are acting perfectly consistent with actual reality versus the packaged version of reality where one has one employer for life.

        & since many of the older folks being polled are hiring millennials – they see this as ?selfish? behavior – instead of seeing it for what it is – correct behavior that the older generation should?ve done when they were younger.

  14. At this point, I am nearly as tired of hearing about Millenials as I am about baby Boomers.

  15. I believe it is retirees who feel “entitled”. We pay them most of the entitlements.

    1. Good point. Greatest Generation and Silent Generation retirees are easily mobilized to vote for candidates who support entitlements.

      The seeds of the entitlement mindset were planted in the 1930s.

      1. That’s merely when they were germinated. The seeds were planted in the 1890s. Our good friends teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson doing much of the sowing.

    2. Gee, after working for 45-50 years and paying into the system, I wonder where they’d get this idea that they’re entitled to a return on their investment?

      1. Nothing wrong with expecting a return for all they put into the system.

        But we’re never going to be able to fix entitlement spending in this country as long as people keep expecting it to be there when they retire.

      2. That works great if there’s a bank account somewhere in the treasury with their name on it. Unfortunately that’s not the case, there’s simply a bunch of ironic IOU letters and a thank you card from Congress.

        1. FICA is a tax, not a withholding. The courts have found that the government owes you nothing, and that benefits are solely at their discretion

          1. Of course the courts have ruled in favor of the government they are a part of.

            1. Yep, the general point being that when government taxes everybody, and then decides when those people are “entitled” to a benefit proportional to the taxes they have paid, it’s not an investment program, it a taxation and entitlement regime.

      3. I wonder where they’d get this idea that they’re entitled to a return on their investment?

        I’m not sure I’d call having 6.2% of your paycheck stolen from you, and another 6.2% stolen from your employer for having the gall to hire you “investing.” As for ROI, well the less said about that the better.

        And besides, it’s not their money that they’re getting back, it’s current worker’s money. Their money was wasted years ago. Or have you not figured out it’s all just a big Ponzi scheme?

        1. In other fora, I’ve pointed out the definition of a Ponzi scheme and how Social Security fits the definition. People tend to react as though I’m crazy for making the link.

          1. It’s because government is omniscient, omnipotent, and infallible. Even many of those who preach slaying the big government dragon worship the government. They just want to “cast the demons out” and restore their god to its former glory.

      4. Social Security is invested?

        1. Sure, in Rainbows and Unicorn Farts.

  16. The Defining Characteristics of the Millenial Generation =

    Pathological Solipsism…. and Mile Wide but Inch Deep Self-Esteem

    That quote is from someone probably pretty horrible @ ‘heartiste’, who also said that the Generational-Defining Millenial Quote is, “Here’s Why That’s A Problem

    i.e. the preferred posture is that of the endless ‘moral-scold’. ‘Matronizing’ is the term i’ve tended to use, but I’ve been told this is blatantly misogynist, naturally.

    1. You see what happens when you tell people that male and female are social constructs often enough.

    2. dear god. not “heartiste”

  17. Millennial boy: Do not try and bend the Millennial . That’s impossible. Instead… only try to realize the truth.
    Neo: What truth?
    Spoon boy: There is no Millennial.

    1. Are you trying to unperson me?

      1. No, the Gen Xers will take care of the unpersoning when they fully assume power.

        1. I am pretty sure power will be skipping my generation.

          Boomers will be dead before they give it up…and there is just to damn many Millennials for us to wrestle it from them.

  18. Media-dredged opinions notwithstanding, if the Millenials cannot resist the decades-old American addiction to autocratic hierarchy then that generation can also fuck themselves into the trash heap of history.

  19. Calling Gen Y “Selfish” and “Entitled” is more of a reflection of boomers grabbing all the wealth in this county through SS and medicare and then shitting on the people they are stealing it from.

    Also Gen Y saw very little of the stimulus money and none of the bailout money and they will get all the debt.

    I hate people younger then me as much as anyone…but they are getting screwed by the older generations.

    1. There was a guy.. Frederic something, I think, who once commented on this sort of situation..

      1. Frankenstein? But pronounced like ‘Froderick.’

    2. Imagine you’re sitting at homw when an old man comes and knocks on your door. You open it and the old man begins to verbally berate you: “Give me some money, you sorry little ingrate! I fought and nearly died for your freedom in Vietnam, so you owe me! And don’t you dare try to hold out! Oh, and by the way, here; pay these medical bills for me too, peckerwood! And you better not complain! You owe me!!!”

      That’s SS/ Medicare in a nutshell.

      1. You missed the part where his lawyer buddies then take all the money he extorted from you and spend it on bridges to nowhere, cowboy poetry festivals, and studying the mating habits of the bonobo.

        1. +1 NOTHING LEFT TO CUT!

  20. Just get it over with already. Change the name of the magazine from Reason to Millenial.

  21. Damn, Jack Weinberg was right. People over 30 don’t know shit…Fuck, I’ve only got 5 years left.

  22. Really? Who comes up with all that craziness?

  23. The trouble with a term like “entitled” is it can be read 2 opposing ways. It’s one thing if you describe someone as entitled because you think they really are. It’s practically the opposite if you describe them s “entitled” because you think they think undeservedly that they are. So it can be a compliment or an insult.

  24. No one on planet earth is entitled to anything with the exception of living and dying. Other than that if you do not want to work and earn your way. SHUT THE FREAK UP AND GO AWAY! Those are the two natural laws no one can change in any way. God help you if you try.

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