Public Opinion Part 1: The Most Philanthropic Generation
Posted by Ben Davis on February 28, 2016 in categoryFacts & ResearchcategoryNews

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ProLiteracy conducted a survey to try to get better insight into the public opinion on adult literacy. After looking at the data, there some interesting results.

Each respondent was asked to rate 6 public issues in order from most important (1) to least important (6). After looking at the results, it’s a safe bet to say that health care is the most important issue for Americans. However, is that the most important subject for each of the generations sampled? Every respondent was categorized into the age range of 18-34, 35-54, and 55+. When sorting the results by age, a pattern started to form. There were some noticeable differences between the values of the 55+ group and the 18-54-year-olds. When the older group was excluded from the results, the importance rating of health care dropped 14 percentage points.

Ranking (18-54)

Ranking (18-55+)



Health Care


Economic Growth 







Economic Growth





Health Care



Why does any of this matter? Generation X (35-54) and Millennials (18-34) make up 65% of the survey respondents. Overall, the Millennials outnumber the Baby Boomers (55+). Generation X outspends its older counterparts by 18% in multiple high-end product categories. Nonprofits looking for their next generation of donors should take notice of this trend.

As more Millennials become financially comfortable and continue their strong support for many different social issues, they may become the largest, most philanthropic generation yet. Our survey results show that this may be especially good for nonprofits in the education sector.

Facts about the survey:

Total Respondents:




30% 18-34

52% Female


35% 35-54

48% Male


35% 55+



Did the rankings surprise you? Share this article and comment on what you think is the most interesting finding.

Have any interesting questions you want us to ask in our next survey? Email them to me at


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