Poll: Millennials in many countries are more open than their elders on questions of national identity

Among 18- to 34-year-olds in European Union countries surveyed, a median of 23% say being born in one’s country is very important to national identity. Four-in-ten of those ages 50 and older agree, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted last spring. The divide between the young and the old over birthright nationality is quite wide in certain European countries: 21 percentage points in the United Kingdom and 16 points each in Greece and Spain.

In the U.S., there is a 19-point division between the youngest and oldest adult generations. And, while only 19% of older Australians say birthplace is very important to nationality, just 4% of Australian millennials accord such importance to being born in Australia.

Among Japanese, there is a 30-percentage-point generation gap on the link between national identity and place of birth: 59% of older Japanese say it is very important to have been born in their country to be truly Japanese, while only 29% of younger Japanese agree.