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PrintWith all of these important issues, the exclusive Rare Under 40 poll seeks to provide a comprehensive look at the outlooks and ideas of younger Americans to see how they compare with older generations. The in-depth scientific survey asked a range of cultural questions, looking for insights on race, religion, politics, same-sex marriage, climate change and the direction of our country.

Overall, the Rare Under 40 poll revealed some surprising (and not-so-surprising) answers. These were the top 5 highlights:

1. Climate change

More young people think climate change will affect them during their lifetime.

Steam and smoke is seen over the coal burning power plant in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009. Coal power plants are among the biggest producer of CO2, that is supposed to be responsible for climate change. Delegates from 193 nations at a U.N. climate talks conference in Copenhagen are deadlocked in talks on a deal to curb global warming.(AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

The majority of people under 40 think climate change will affect them in their lifetimes (53 percent), more so than respondents over 40 (47 percent). Of young Americans who identify their religion as “other,” a whopping 70 percent think they’ll witness the effects of climate change.

2. The future

Young people feel like they’re still victims of discrimination.

Lauren Koepp and Kara Smyth pose for a photo after casting their votes on Election Day early Tuesday morning, Nov. 4, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Tamir Kalifa)

Most Americans are still pessimistic about the direction of our country — but generations under 40 and over 40 are divided about whether they’re better or worse off than eight years ago. More young Americans say they are better (41 percent) than people over 40 (35 percent).

But looking forward, nearly half of young people still say they feel like our culture discriminates against them. The sentiment was even clearer among young blacks (75 percent) and most Democrats (53 percent).

3. Police brutality

Racism and police brutality are problems, but people still trust the police.

Ferguson Nationwide Protests

The majority of Americans of all ages think racism is a major problem and they don’t think it’s OK for police to profile on the basis of race or ethnicity. But overall, all age groups still trust police to do the right thing.

4. Race relations

Young people are more open to marrying someone of another race.

LONDON - JULY 02:  Singer Madonna holds hands with Birhan Woldu on stage at "Live 8 London" in Hyde Park on July 2, 2005 in London, England.  The free concert is one of ten simultaneous international gigs including Philadelphia, Berlin, Rome, Paris, Barrie, Tokyo, Cornwall, Moscow and Johannesburg. The concerts precede the G8 summit (July 6-8) to raising awareness for MAKEpovertyHISTORY.  (Photo by MJ Kim/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Madonna;Birhan Woldu

When it comes to interracial friendships and romances, the differences between young and old was stark.

People under 40 are more likely to have had a romantic relationship with a member of another race. And a much larger majority of young people would consider interracial marriage (69 percent) than the older generations (45 percent).

5. Religion

Many young people say it’s a Christian nation, but don’t want to make it official.

A man receives ashes from Baltimore Archbishop William Lori during an Ash Wednesday Mass, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, in Baltimore.  Ash Wednesday marks the start of the Lent, a season of prayer and fasting for Christians before Easter. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Americans under 40 are less likely than older generations to say the U.S. is a Christian nation, and most oppose making Christianity the country’s official religion. But even though many young people do think it’s a Christian nation (42 percent), only 34 percent would go further and support a law making Christianity the official religion.

Rare explored 24 questions in-depth, taking a close look at the difference between age groups while also weighing key demographic differences such as political party, race and education. It’s also an opportunity to revisit the previous Rare Under 40 poll, which found young people hold surprising views on Obama, marijuana, God and more.

This Rare survey was conducted by Gravis Insights between April 27 and May 5. A total of 2,261 registered voters of all ages were interviewed about several issues using landlines, cellphones and Internet panels. Overall, the poll has a margin of error of ±2 percentage points and was weighted by select demographic characteristics.

Melissa Angle About the author:
Melissa Angle is Fans 1st Media's director of audience. Email her at
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