Poor perception of young people in the UK

Document type
Leach, Jeremy
Intergenerational Foundation
Date of publication
17 August 2011
Children and Young People, Employment
Social welfare
Material type

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 This report analyzes how young people in the UK are viewed by the rest of society compared to their peers in other European countries. IF has analysed data from the European Social Survey, a biennial poll which measures the social attitudes of 57,000 respondents across 29 European countries. The results give the striking impression that people in their 20s in Britain are viewed with a remarkably high degree of negativity by older generations. When asked to say how positively or negatively they felt towards people in their 20s, respondents from the UK expressed a more negative view than any other group who completed the survey.

British youth were also less likely to be viewed as being friendly, competent, or as having high moral standards than their counterparts in almost all of the other countries that were surveyed. Based on this evidence, IF calls for greater tolerance and respect to be shown towards young people in the UK, as there is a danger that they do not at present receive sufficient recognition for the positive contribution which they make to society and the economy.

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