May 11 (UPI) — Younger U.S. adults are significantly more worried about the effects of global warming than older groups, results of a Gallup poll published Friday indicate.
Though concern about climate change is noticeable in all age categories, more respondents under 35 say they worry about the issue than those over 55. Responding to a statement that “global warming will pose a significant threat in your lifetime,” 51 percent of those ages 18 to 34 agreed, compared to 47 percent of those 35 to 54 and 29 percent of those 55 and older.
The 22-percentage-point difference in the rate of agreement between the youngest age group and the oldest suggests that expected time in a respondent’s lifetime is a factor, Gallup said.
A majority of each age group agreed that global warming is “caused by human activities,” with 75 percent of those 18 to 34, 62 percent of those 35 to 54, and 55 percent of those 55 and over answering affirmatively.
Younger adults were also significantly more likely to think news reports on global warming underestimate the issue. Forty-eight percent in the 18 to 34 group called global warming an under-reported concern, compared to 38 percent in the 35 to 54 group and 31 percent in the 55-plus group.
The three groups came closest in agreement in believing that the effects of global warming have already begun, and in what they regard as their own understanding of the issue. The survey also found a political divide in the responses, with younger Americans tending to support the Democratic Party and its position on global warming.
The figures are based on combined data, from 2015 to 2018, in Gallup’s annual Environmental polls. Four separate Gallup polls were conducted, one in each year, through landline and cellphone telephone interviews with a random sample of 4,103 adults. The margin of sampling error was plus-or-minus two percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.