Equitable Futures National Youth Poll 2020-2021

How COVID-19 and other events are shaping young people’s perceptions of the future.

About the Survey

Here you can find research briefs and highlighted findings from the Equitable Futures National Youth Poll — a series of nationwide polls surveying Black and Latino youth from a broad spectrum of household incomes and white youth from households with lower incomes. This research was conducted by Goodwin Simon Strategic Research from August 2020 to May 2021 with support from Equitable Futures, a project of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and is part of the Foundation’s broader portfolio to build more equitable education and employment pathways for all young people.

While the 2020-21 polls primarily focused on impacts on young people from COVID-19 with respect to their life experiences and their educational and career choices, questions were added on other subjects such as racial justice and policing and the 2020 presidential election. When notable, non-COVID findings from the polls will be highlighted on this page and elsewhere. 


Optimism about the future

Young people in 2021

Optimism about the future

Young people in 2019

COVID-19 and Other Key Events Impacting Young People: Highlighted Findings

Here you can find briefs highlighting and translating key survey findings within the context of the broader fields of youth-serving professionals in which the work of Equitable Futures takes place.

Research Brief: Wave 1

Research Brief: Racial Justice

Research Brief: Waves 2&3

Research Brief: Wave 4


In 2021, of young people polled

changed their education plans due to COVID-19

of young people who changed their plans

felt optimistic about their changed education plans

You can also find summaries of highlighted research findings from Goodwin Simon Strategic Research on all four waves of the Equitable Futures National Youth Poll.

* conducted as part of the Striving to Thriving Research in 2019

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