Local Governments Influenced COVID-19 Behavior of Young Americans

Local Governments Influenced COVID-19 Behavior of Young Americans

Local governments had more influence on whether young Americans acted to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic than social influencers, a report from the Cause & Social Influence Initiative finds.

Based on an online survey of nearly twelve hundred respondents, the report, Influencing Young America to Act, (5 pages, PDF), investigated the actions taken by young adults in the three weeks preceding April 17. According to the report, young Americans ages 18 to 30 were most likely to listen to their local government to learn what to do to stop the spread of COVID-19 (37 percent), followed by family members (30 percent). The survey also found that almost 60 percent of young Americans were receiving no news about COVID-19 from celebrities and online influencers, and that among those who did, more relied on content creators (30 percent) than on celebrities (19 percent) for information.

According to the report, young adults see their consumer decisions and social media activities as a way to assist others, with 26 percent indicating they had started to or significantly increased their purchases of goods or services locally, 24 percent indicating they had donated goods and/or services, and 21 percent saying they had posted or shared content on social media about virus prevention measures; a third (33 percent) of respondents indicated they had taken no actions that might help others. Healthcare reform topped the list of issues that young Americans chose to support with a financial gift (12 percent), while they were most likely to volunteer (both in person and online) for groups working to help animals and/or advance animal rights.