Millennials Care More About the World Cup Than Actual News

Eighteen to 29-year-olds care more about the World Cup than anything else and everyone else. 

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The day's top news stories aren't captivating the attentions of most Americans, but news junkies are still more concerned about the VA healthcare scandal and the violence in Iraq than whether America will beat Belgium tonight. According to a new Pew Research survey, people over 30 are at least slighty more likely to follow those stories closely instead of the World Cup. Eighteen to 29 year olds, on the other hand, care more about the cup than anything else and everyone else.

As the graph to the right shows, 18 to 29 year olds' interest in soccer is 9-18 percentage points higher than interest in any of the day's major news stories. The older you go, the more likely people are to be closely following real news.

Some things to consider:

  • 55 percent of Hispanics follow the World Cup very or fairly closely, compared to 32 percent of whites and blacks. 
  • The Supreme Court rulings were the least followed story overall, which is hard to imagine after yesterday's Hobby Lobby ruling. But then, the survey was conducted between June 26 and June 29. 
  • The VA scandal should be getting more coverage. With the exception of young adults obsession with the World Cup, the VA healthcare scandal is still the most popular stories among all age groups, though it has faded from the spotlight.
  • Meanwhile, hardly anyone cares about the midterm elections, except for older people.

That last point should set off alarms for Democrats. "The people who are following political issues closely in this poll — wealthier, older Republicans — are also the people who will vote in the upcoming midterms. The people who would rather watch the World Cup ... aren't," writes Jaime Fuller at The Washington Post. "Which leads us to the grand revelation that midterm season is the World Cup for old Republicans." But then, none of that is the World Cup's fault — younger Americans have consistently spent less time following the news

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.