Libertarians might be one of the most interesting political demographics in the United States right now. People from the right and the left of politics will both describe themselves as being Libertarian. Many of them, in fact, tend to have characteristics that could be described as both conservative and liberal in their personal views.
In the 2012 Presidential election, 80% of Libertarians polled stated that they supported Mitt Romney. Only 5% of Libertarians put their support to President Barack Obama.
Libertarian Facts and Demographics
Libertarians have some unique political believes in the United States. They are very supportive of the legalization of marijuana. They are typically opposed to a hike in the overall minimum wage. Even when asked if they were forced to choose a two-party system, 45% of them say they’d be Republicans, which means 35% of Democratic-leaning Libertarians would have voted against the Democratic candidate.
- 25% of Libertarians are under the age of 30.
- More than 60% of Libertarians today are under the age of 50.
- The most common religious profile that Libertarians associated with are mainline Protestants, accounting for 27% of the Libertarian base.
- 23% of Libertarians identify themselves as white Evangelical Protestants.
- Only 11% of Libertarians identify themselves as being Roman Catholic.
- More than two-thirds of Libertarians are men.
- 94% of Libertarians who identify themselves by race are described as non-Hispanic Caucasians.
- Although 15% of American say that they have leanings toward Libertarian views, only 7% of Americans actually self-identify as being Libertarian.
- The percentage of Libertarians who believe that corporations are making too much profit today: 46%.
The reason why Libertarians are considered a bit of a strange group to the general population is because they seem to be trying to fuse two mainline systems of belief into one potentially compromised system of belief. Is it possible to be financially conservative, but socially liberal at the same time? For the average Libertarian, this is very much a possibility and one that they practice every day. Although only 15% of Americans say they lean toward Libertarian views, it would probably be much higher if people knew the specifics of the Libertarian view on any given subject. By loving others as much as they love themselves and wanting to be financially responsible, it’s easy to see the Christian influence on these philosophies. Limited government and responsible business practices are typically at the core of each view in some way.
Are The Demographics Of The Average Libertarian Changing?
- According to a recent Pew survey, only 1% fewer Hispanics identified themselves as being Libertarian, just 1% fewer than the amount of Caucasians who self-identified as being Libertarian.
- Younger Hispanics don’t particularly care for the “Hispanic” or “Latino” label, something that is not emphasized in the Libertarian demographic.
- 65% of American Hispanics are between the ages of 22-35.
- Hispanic Millennial support for Obama fell 9% between 2013 and 2014.
- Hispanic Millennials tend to prefer more government services than their white counterparts. And since they reject the “Hispanic” label, they won’t necessarily be drawn to the Hispanic icons that appeal to their parents.
- More college graduates (15%) than those with no more than a high school education (7%) identified as libertarians.
The face of the United States is starting to change with the racial and ethnic demographics and this may have a surprising change in the scope of the Libertarian movement in the United States. As more young Hispanics come to a voting age and despise being referred to as Hispanic, there is a good chance that they will sympathize with the Libertarian movement or join it. This means that as this population demographic begins to grow, so will the scope of the Libertarian party. In the next 30 years, if these trends continue, the United States could transition from a two-party political system to a three-party political system.
What Is The Attitude Of The Modern Libertarian?
- 57% of Libertarians believe that government aid to the poor does more harm than good by making people too dependent on government assistance.
- 40% of Libertarians, however, believe that an emphasis on government aid could help to reduce poverty levels.
- 41% of Libertarians believe that government regulation of business is necessary to protect general public interests.
- 65% of Libertarians believe in the legalization of marijuana on a national level.
- 42% say that allowing police to stop and search anyone who fits the general description of a crime is a favorable outcome.
- The percentage of Libertarians who believe that it is necessary for the US to be active in world affairs: 43%.
- 82% of Libertarians believe that the general public shouldn’t have to give up privacy and freedom in order to be safe from terrorism.
- Does the US involvement in world problems make those problems worse? 46% of Libertarians think so, compared to 40% of the general public.
- 54% of Libertarians believe that there should be a greater focus on domestic problems than foreign issues.
- 26% of Libertarians believe that homosexuality should be discouraged, while 67% state that the same-sex orientation of people should be accepted.
Libertarians are an independent demographic, with 35% of them even saying that they don’t have a preference for a political party in general. This is reflected in the attitudes of the modern Libertarian. They want to be able to have a safe, secure life that allows them to pursue their dreams without impeding others from having the same life experiences. That’s why there is such a discrepancy between typically Republican values and typically Democratic values. How a Libertarian tends to lean is dependent on their experiences and local community needs and that becomes reflective toward views on national policy.