Survey Shows Mid-Term Elections Matter To Gen Z, Nearly All Say Results Will Impact Their Lives And Vast Majority Plan To Vote In November

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A new survey by the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) gives insights into Gen Z’s beliefs about voting – their plans, top issues concerning them, what counts most in a candidate, and more.

Students ranked the top issues of concern to them: racial equity, environment, inflation and the economy, and a woman's right to choose.

With the midterm elections approaching, the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) polled 2,300 U.S. high school students and graduates to learn their thoughts on the midterms and a host of related issues. Here’s what Gen Z reports:

Midterms, Impact of Elections, and Plans to Vote

  • While midterm elections historically generate lower voter turnout than presidential elections, respondents almost universally stated (86%) that the midterms would have an impact on their lives
  • 43% thought they would affect them as much as outcomes of the next Presidential election
  • This group gets out and votes: 85% plan to vote in the midterms. Those who didn’t were either not registered to vote (27%) or didn’t know the candidates well enough (14%)

What’s at Stake
Students ranked the top issues of concern to them:

  • Racial Equity
  • Environment
  • Inflation and the Economy
  • A Woman's Right to Choose

The relative importance of these issues varied greatly by gender:

  • The most important issue for young women was racial equity; for men, inflation; and for the nonbinary, LGBTQ+ rights
  • 15% of young women ranked a woman's right to choose as their #1 issue, compared to 6% of the young men, and 8% of the nonbinary respondents
  • The second most important issue for all three groups was the environment

Gen Z wants to have an impact on the world in the following areas:

  • Human Rights (67%)
  • Education (59%)
  • Environment (54%)
  • Social Justice (52%)
  • Healthcare (51%)
  • Poverty/Hunger (50%)
  • Animal Rights (18%)

Who’s in Office

  • When it comes to being a political candidate, virtually all that matters (73%) to Gen Z is integrity, with traits like relatability, likeability, and being a great public speaker trailing far behind
  • More than one-third plan to seek public office in the future, 14% at the federal level, 12% at the state level, and 12% locally

For the complete data set, methodology, and visuals or to interview NSHSS President James Lewis, please contact Terese Greer at 201-843-5600 ext. 206,

About National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS):
NSHSS is the premier honors and scholarship program co-founded by Claes Nobel, of the Nobel Prize family, and James Lewis. NSHSS offers a lifetime of benefits, pairing the highest performing students worldwide with college scholarships, events, connections, internships, and career opportunities that begin in high school and carry on through college and careers. For more information, visit

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