Civics Education Linked to Voting, Political Knowledge

A large, national survey of young Americans from 2012 showed that most young adults who voted could choose an issue that was important to them and knew where the candidates stood on at least one (of two) relevant policies. But the survey revealed widespread misinformation on some issues, and young people who did not vote scored poorly on the knowledge questions.

The survey by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) also showed a clear relationship between respondents’ high school civics education experiences and their knowledge of campaign issues and political participation in the 2012 presidential election. However, taking high school civics had little or no relationship with party registration or young adults’ choice between the party's Presidential candidates.