The Biggest Stereotype About Young People Was Just Proven Wrong


The news: If you think young Americans are abandoning physical books in favor of Facebook and smartphones, you're wrong. 

According to new data compiled by the Pew Research Center, young people are actually voracious readers. It found that a majority of them (ages 16-29) read books and frequent libraries more often than older generations.

They're even reading more than older generations: Some 43% of young Americans said they read a book on a daily basis, a rate similar to older adults, and 88% of Americans under 30 said they read a book in the past year, more than the 79% of those age 30 and older.

Some of this can be attributed to the fact that the many of the 16-29 age range are students in school (although students are increasingly utilizing online resources). But the report's findings contradict popular opinion that young people these days are glued to their smartphones and don't appreciate the written world. Sorry olds, but the younger generation definitely enjoys a good read here and there.

After surveying more than 6,000 Americans, here are the seven most striking findings from the Pew report:

1. About 98% of people under 30 use the Internet, but 62% of that group believe there is "a lot of useful, important information that is not available on the Internet," which is a lot more than the 53% of older people who agree with that same statement.

2. A higher percentage of the under-30 crowd (88%) read a book in the past year compared with people over the age of 30 (79%).

3. Roughly 43% of millennials read "a book — in any format — on a daily basis, a rate similar to older adults."

4. Half of Americans in the 16-29 age range visited a library in the past 12 months, whereas only 47% of older people have visited one in that same year period.

5. More than half of the younger group (52%) don't feel that public libraries are antiquated in terms of staying afloat with advancements in technologies. 

6. More young Americans use library websites than their counterparts. 

7. The majority of teens and 20-somethings think that libraries are "welcoming places."

So despite an assumption that millennials spend most of their day leering at Facebook or texting, Pew's research shows that young Americans still hold libraries and books in high regard — or at least in a higher regard than many people presumed. 

h/t Washington Post