Annual Survey Shows Growing Favorability of Communism, Socialism Among Millennials

70% of Millennials say they are likely to vote socialist. The percentage of Millennials who say they are “extremely likely to vote for a socialist candidate” doubled from 2018 to 2019.

66% of Americans cannot accurately define socialism.

One-in-three Millennials see communism as “favorable;” only 57% of Millennials believe Declaration of Independence better “guarantees freedom and equality” over Communist Manifesto. 

Donald Trump considered “biggest threat to world peace” over Putin, Kim, Xi; 10% Millennials and Gen Z believe Trump “responsible for more deaths and human rights abuses” than Stalin or Hitler.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) today released its fourth Annual Report on U.S. Attitudes Toward Socialism, Communism, and Collectivism. The report, polled by internationally recognized research and data firm YouGov, synthesizes data from 2,100 representative U.S. respondents ages 16 and older.

This year’s study showed increased support for communism (36%) among Millennials compared to 2018. Opinions of capitalism took a steep decline from 2018 to 2019, with only one-in-two among Millennials (ages 23-38) and Generation Z (ages 16-22) having a favorable opinion of capitalism. Socialism’s favorability decreased markedly from 2018, among all generations except for Millennials and the Silent Generation (ages 74+). 72% of Generation Z and 62% of Millennials said they did not learn about communist regimes from elementary to high school.

“The historical amnesia about the dangers of communism and socialism is on full display in this year’s report,” said Marion Smith, Executive Director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. “When we don’t educate our youngest generations about the historical truth of 100 million victims murdered at the hands of communist regimes over the past century, we shouldn’t be surprised at their willingness to embrace Marxist ideas. We need to redouble our efforts to educate America’s youth about the history of communist regimes and the dangers of socialism today.”

The report’s findings include the following:

  • Capitalism is still viewed more favorably than other economic systems, holding relatively steady at 61% favorability from 2018; however, favorability of capitalism is lower among Generation Z and Millennials at 50%, down 6 points and 8 points from 2018 respectively.

  • Communism is viewed favorably by more than one-in-three Millennials (36%), up 8 points from 2018.

  • 15% of Millennials think the world would be better off if the Soviet Union still existed.

  • 57% of Gen Z and 62% of Millennials believe China is a communist country and not a democratic country (compared to 88% of Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation).

  • 72% of Americans incorrectly say that communism has killed less than 100 million people in the past 100 years.

  • A majority of Americans age 35 and under trust themselves (66%) more than the community (19%) or government (15%).

  • 57% of Millennials (compared to 94% of the Silent Generation), believe the Declaration of Independence better guarantees freedom and inequality over the Communist Manifesto

  • While 80% of Americans say they trust themselves (over government and community) to take care of their own interests, younger generations are about 25% less likely to say this.

  • While 50% of Millennials say they are “somewhat likely” and 20% of Millennials say they are “extremely likely” to vote for a socialist candidate, doubling from 10% in 2018, Americans overall are more hesitant about voting for a “democratic socialist” than they were last year (53% “never” or “hesitant” in 2019 versus 47% in 2018).

  • More than one-in-five Millennials (22%) believe that “society would be better if all private property was abolished,” compared to 1% of the Silent Generation.

  • 45% of Generation Z and Millennials believe that “all higher education should be free.”

  • 76% of respondents are unaware that the Hitler-Stalin pact started World War II.

  • More than one-in-four Americans (27%) across every generation see President Trump as the “biggest threat to world peace” over Kim Jong-Un (22%) and Vladimir Putin (15%).

The full-length report is available here.

Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is an educational, research, and human rights nonprofit devoted to commemorating the more than 100 million victims of communism around the world and to pursuing the freedom of those still living under totalitarian regimes.

For further information or to set up an interview with Marion Smith, please contact Emily Stewart or call  (202) 629-9500.