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A third of millennials wish they had grown up in their parents’ era, new research has found.
Despite the technological and social progress in recent decades, Brits of all ages and across all sectors of society no longer believe today’s young people will be better off than their parents in the future.
Economic issues such as owning a home, job security and funding retirement were all major concerns among youngsters, the research from think tank Resolution Foundation found.
The organisation, which aims to improve the lives of low and middle income families, found nearly half (48 per cent) of the 2,179 people surveyed felt the future was gloomier for young people today than it was for their parents.
Only 23 per cent of those polled said young people could hope for a better standard of life and 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.
Graduates and high earners are the most pessimistic about the future. Among those with a degree, 57 per cent believed young people will have a worse standard of life than their parents, while 55 per cent of people earning more than £55,000 per year shared those views.
The figure was still high among those on low incomes, with 44 per cent 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 per cent who disagreed.
Among older generations, just 15 per cent 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.
Additional reporting by Press Association.
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