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In a collaborative effort involving researchers from the Hot Politics Lab and the SYNC Lab EUR have unveiled intriguing insights into the political attitudes of Dutch adolescents and young adults aged 10 to 25 residing in Rotterdam. The findings shed light on how the youth perceive and engage with politics, offering valuable implications for the future of democracy.

Surprising Youth Interest in Dutch Politics

The research is part of the Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Politics of Adolescence and Democracy (IP-PAD). It took place in Rotterdam among 507 individuals aged between 10 and 25 years, and the sample was conducted in May and June 2023. It showed that only 30% of young people expressed a direct interest in Dutch politics. However, the interest in specific issues such as crime, climate change, terrorism, and poverty was shown by more than half of the respondents (53%).

The Dominance of Social Media

In an age dominated by digital connectivity, the study found that social media has emerged as the primary source of political information for these young individuals. An impressive 45% of adolescents rely on social media platforms daily to stay informed about Dutch politics. Traditional media channels such as television, newspapers, and radio play a comparatively smaller role in shaping their political awareness.

Diverse Forms of Political Activism

Young individuals demonstrated a willingness to participate in various forms of political activism, ranging from charitable giving to signing petitions. Surprisingly, joining political parties was among the less popular avenues for political engagement (16%).

Left-Leaning Political Opinions

The data paints a left-leaning picture of the youth's political opinions. A significant majority, ranging from 61% to 84%, advocated for the preservation of multiculturalism, data privacy rights, and socioeconomic equality.

Political Polarization

The study also revealed varying degrees of warmth among young people towards different political parties. Groenlinks emerged as the favorite among 35.9% of participants, while the PVV was the least favorite among 32% of respondents. These insights into the preferences and attitudes of Dutch youth towards political parties provide a unique perspective on the country's political landscape.

Shaping the future of the democracy

These findings provide valuable glimpses into the political landscape as perceived by young individuals, potentially shaping the future of democracy in the Netherlands. The researchers at the University of Amsterdam's Hot Politics Lab continue to contribute to interdisciplinary projects like IP-PAD, striving to better understand and engage with the ever-evolving world of politics.