The Gender Gap in Voter Turnout Rates by U.S. College Students

A new report from the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, details college student participation in the American democratic process. Data from the 2018 National  Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement found that voting rates of college students nearly doubled in the 2018 midterm elections compared to turnout rates in the 2014 midterms. In 2018, college student voting rates were similar to turnout rates of college students in presidential elections.

In 2018, 40 percent of all college students voted in the midterm elections, up from 19 percent in 2014. At 99 percent of the participating colleges and universities, voter turnout rates were higher.

Among college students, women were more likely to vote than men. In 2018, the voting rate was 39.6 percent among women and 35.4 percent for men, compared to 19.5 percent and 17.9 percent, respectively, in 2014. Thus, the gender gap widened from 1.6 percentage points to 4.2 percentage points.

More than half of all students at women’s colleges voted in the 2018 midterm elections. In 2014, only 23.5 percent of students at women’s college cast ballots.

Black women had the highest voting rate of any racial or ethnic group. The Black woman turnout rate was more than double the turnout rate of the lowest-performing group, Asian American men.

The full report, Democracy Counts 2018: Increased Student and Institutional Engagement, may be downloaded by clicking here.

Filed Under: Research/Study

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