CIRCLE (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement)
conducts research on the civic and political engagement of young Americans.
The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement

College Students Registered to Vote Turned Out at 87% in 2008

April 25th, 2012
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Young people who are enrolled in college (37% of the 18-to-24 year-old population in 2012) are more likely to vote than the national youth average.[i] College students are highly likely to turn out to vote if they are registered.

In the 2008 election, 70% of current college students were registered to vote, and 87% of the registered students cast a ballot on Election Day. This was the highest turnout of registered students since at least 1984 (see graph below). Among all youth (18-29), 84% of those who were registered to vote did so in 2008.

College students were over-represented at the polls in 2008, compared to the number in the general youth population. Enrolled college students made up 39% of the 18-to-24 year-old citizen population in 2008, yet made up 48% of youth who voted.


[i] All statistics in this post derive from CIRCLE’s analysis of the Census Current Population Survey 1984-2008, March and November Supplements.

Find more analysis in our 2016 Election Center. For regular updates in your Inbox about youth and the 2016 election, sign up for CIRCLE's monthly E-Update here.

One Response to “College Students Registered to Vote Turned Out at 87% in 2008”

  1. campus speech codes and college student voting: or, how to make an empirical claim in the Times with no evidence « Peter Levine Says:

    […] The relevant number is actually the turnout rate of currently enrolled college students, which was 59.7% in 2008. As our graph shows, that rate has been quite stable for 40 years, so it is unlikely to […]