Compared with older groups, particularly Americans ages 50 or older, younger Americans are significantly more likely to be accepting of interracial marriage and are more likely to have friends of a different race.
Opinions of older adults tend to differ more from the other age groups than the views of those of the youngest generation when it comes to embracing technological advances and societal change. Two issues, the acceptance of homosexuality and tattoos, create especially large generational gaps.
Who are they? How are they different from --and similar to -- their parents? How is their moment in history shaping them? And how might they, in turn, reshape America in the decades ahead?
They have different values, beliefs and lifestyles, but young and old today are disagreeing without being disagreeable. Both also share a fondness for Woodstock-era rock and roll.
While the economic downturn is falling quite heavily on younger Americans, their overall outlook remains optimistic. A new survey also finds Generation Next expressing more liberal views when compared with older age cohorts as well as evidence of increased political engagement.
Older adults are less likely than younger and middle-aged adults to say that in the past year they have cut back on spending; suffered losses in their retirement accounts; or experienced trouble paying for housing or medical care.
This year, 66% of those under age 30 voted for Barack Obama making the disparity between young voters and other age groups larger than in any presidential election since exit polling began in 1972.
While Barack Obama's appeal to the young coincides with their increasing Democratic alignment, older voters do not show the greater allegiance to the GOP that might explain their relative reluctance to support him.
Trends in the opinions of America's youngest voters are often a barometer of shifting political winds. And that appears to be the case in 2008. Use the interactive tool to track generational differences in party affiliation over time.
Beyond the vote, the exit polls point to interesting differences -- and similarities -- between younger and older Democratic voters.