One in three millennials wish they had grown up in parents’ era
Some 48% of respondents said the future was gloomier for young people today than it was for their parents.
Young people are now so pessimistic about the future that many of them would prefer to have been born at an earlier time despite technological and social progress, according to new research.
Britons of all ages and at all levels of society no longer believe today’s youth will have a better life than their parents because of economic worries such as the likelihood of owning a home.
A study commissioned by the Resolution Foundation, a think tank aimed at improving the lives of low and middle income families, found job security and finances in retirement were also a big concern.
The survey of 2,179 people aged between 16 and 75 found participants were more than twice as likely to say young people today will have a worse standard of life compared with their parents.
Almost half, 48%, of respondents said the future was gloomier for young people today than it was for their parents, while only 23% said young people could hope for a better standard of life.
The proportion of people who think their children will have a better standard of life than them has halved in the space of 15 years, the study found.
Graduates and high earners are the most pessimistic about the future. Among those with a degree, 57% believed young people will have a worse standard of life than their parents, while 55% of people earning more than £55,000 per year shared those views.
The figure was still high among those on low incomes, with 44% of people earning £20,000 or less believing the future would be tougher than the past.
Young people are now so anxious about their prospects that many now say they would rather have grown up at an earlier time, despite the advances in technology and social and economic progress.
One in three millennials – people born between 1981 and 2000 – agreed that they would prefer to have grown up when their parents were children, compared with 32% who disagreed.
Among older generations, just 15% said they would rather be a young person growing up today.
Laura Gardiner, senior policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said in a statement: “That such an anxiety has taken hold despite decades of economic growth, technological advances and growing social freedoms suggests we have failed to ensure that these gains have fully fed through into young people’s living standards and prospects.
“Of course, cheaper flights and smarter phones are great, but they’re no substitute for a secure income and a home of one’s own.”
She said that concern over falling living standards was one of the key factors driving the high turnout of young people in June’s general election.