State of the Nation 2013

The State of the Nation poll touches on a wide range across British life including national pride, immigration, economic prospects and Scottish independence.

Britons are showing a glimmer of hope about the future, with pessimism levels reducing compared to 2012, according to the State of the Nation 2013 report from thinktank British Future.

The report showed 16-75s were a little bit more optimistic about Britain than they were a year earlier, according to polling carried out for British Future by Ipsos.

Britons were less pessimistic about the economy than they were a year ago, with those saying they were pessimistic falling from 74% to 50%.

Those who were born outside the UK are more positive about Britain’s future than those born in the UK, with 40% of those born outside the UK saying Britain was going in the right direction, compared to 31% of those born in the UK.

And when it comes to the economy 30% of those born outside the UK said they were optimistic, compared with 18% optimistic for those born in the UK.

Nearly half of parents think the quality of life of their children will be better than their own, or about the same.  On the other hand a quarter of those asked thought their children would take a shift down.

The report also found Britons shared a strong national pride, with 61% saying they would rather be a citizen of Britain than any other country.

When asked to select icons that made them proud to be British, the public chose the NHS (45%), armed forces (40%), and Team GB (38%).

When asked to select the anniversary in 2013 that made them proudest to be British, the 65th birthday of the NHS topped the poll, followed by the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation and the 60th anniversary of the discovery of the structure of DNA. The 40th anniversary of Britain joining the European Community was bottom, chosen by 3%.

Going to a private schools means you are much more likely to get to the top, 69% felt, while 64% felt that being a man gave you advantages in finding success.

In other findings:

  • 57% of the public consider themselves to be working class, and 36% middle class. Of those in the highest social grades (AB), 33% say they are working class.
  • 64% of non-Scottish Britons say they will never think of the Scottish as being foreign even if Scotland becomes independent  and 70% of the Scottish people polled said they would never think of the English as foreign.


Technical details

Ipsos carried out 2,515 interviews online with British adults aged 16-75. Fieldwork took place between 23-27 November 2012. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.

British Future is a thinktank working  to encourage debates on identity, integration, migration and opportunity.

More insights about Culture