For the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS), we polled 2,300 U.S. high school students and graduates from to learn their thoughts on the midterms and a host of related issues. This led to some interesting insights into the values that future members of society see as their top priorities.
Students ranked the top issues of concern to them:
1. Racial Equity
3. Inflation and the Economy
4. Abortion Rights
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 abortion rights 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, and 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.
Read more about this study on NSHSS.