Younger generations tend to have more-positive views than their elders of a number of institutions that play a big part in American society. But for some institutions – such as churches and the news media – Millennials’ opinions have become markedly more negative in the past five years.
Since 2010, Millennials’ rating of churches and other religious organizations has dipped 18 percentage points: 55% now say churches have a positive impact on the country compared with five years ago, when nearly three-quarters (73%) said this. Views among older generations have changed little over this time period. As a result, older generations are now more likely than Millennials – who are much less likely than their elders to be religious – to view religious organizations positively.
Millennials’ views of the national news media also have grown more negative. In 2010, four-in-ten Millennials said the national news media was having a positive impact on the way things were going in the country, a far more positive view than among older generations (just 27% of Silents and Baby Boomers and 29% of Generation Xers said this).
But now, Millennials’ evaluations of the news media have grown more critical and are currently on par with older generations: Just 27% now say it has a positive impact, compared with 26% of Xers and Silents and 23% of Boomers.
Younger generations tend to have more-positive views than their elders about small and large businesses as well as financial institutions and labor unions. Views of each of these institutions have grown more favorable over the past five years.