Chart of the day

Okay, I don’t know what I was thinking thinking that I was done with gay marriage.  Reading so many interesting things to day.  Anyway, the Dianne Rehm show had a very good episode on the topic this morning and they had Michael Dimock of Pew as a guest talking about the public opinion.  Never met the guy, but I owe my great circumstances to him– he left this very position at NCSU to take the job at Pew.  Anyway, it got me thinking about the ever-increasing support for gay marriage and wondering how much of this due to generational replacement (gay marriage opponents dying and being replaced in the public by young adults who support gay marriage) versus actual attitude change within age cohorts.  I thought I might run some data, but then Dimock mentioned the data on this.  Quick google, and here we go:

As you can see, there’s been some fairly substantial change in each of the age groups (I have to think the 49% for Gen X in 2001 is a random outlier– patterns look much cleaner without that).  Anyway, it’s not like older Americans are ever going to come all the way over to the side of supporting gay marriage, but it is interesting to see that there’s been some real shifts among every age group.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

4 Responses to Chart of the day

  1. itchy says:

    Really interesting chart. A few things:

    1. Does it stop at 2010? (Hard to read the columns.) At the rate it’s changing, it would be interesting to see results for right now.

    2. Each of the generations sits about where the younger generation sat maybe 10 years ago.

    3. What happened in 2009? Why the dip?

    • Steve Greene says:

      1) Yeah– far as I can tell Pew has not updated this. Would be nice.
      2) Yeah– interesting point.
      3) I just think there’s a fair amount of noise in the data from year-to-year. The long-term trends I’m much more confident in.

  2. Mike in Chapel Hill says:

    Can we assume, or do we know, if the same exact question wording was used to create each of these data points?

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