Two-thirds of Britons think UK is in decline and majority think today’s youth will have a worse life than their parents

65% of Britons aged 18-75 think the UK is decline, 16% disagree while 57% think today’s youth will have a worse life than their parents

The author(s)

  • Keiran Pedley Public Affairs
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In a new online poll of 1,010 GB adults aged 18-75, Ipsos MORI, in partnership with the Economist, asked Britons whether they thought the UK was in decline and whether today’s youth would have a better or worse life than their parents, or if it would be about the same.

Is the UK in decline?

  • 65% of Britons agree that the UK is in decline. 16% disagree. 17% neither agree, nor disagree. 2% say they don’t know.
  • Remain voters are significantly more likely to agree (76%) than Leave voters (54%).
  • Meanwhile, 81% of 2019 Labour voters agree that the UK is decline compared to 51% of 2019 Conservative voters.

Perceptions of UK decline by Brexit vote

How will life for today's youth compare to that of their parents?

  • 57% of Britons think today’s youth will have a worse life than their parents. 23% think they will have a better life. 17% say about the same and 3% say they don’t know.
  • Remain voters appear more pessimistic than Leave voters. 63% of Remain voters think today’s youth will have a worse life than their parents whereas 51% of Leave voters say the same.
  • Differences by 2019 General Election vote are more muted on this question. A majority of both 2019 Conservative (53%) and 2019 Labour voters (58%) think today’s youth will have a worse life than their parents.
  • Interestingly, younger Britons are somewhat more optimistic than older Britons on this question. Whereas just 23% of Britons overall think today’s youth will have a better life than their parents, this number is greater among those aged 18-24 (33%) and 25-34 (29%) than those aged 45-54 (13%) or 55-75 (21%).

Will today's youth have a better or worse life than their parents?

Technical note:

  • Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,010 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted online on the 10th- 11th December, 2020  Data are weighted to the profile of the population.  

 

The author(s)

  • Keiran Pedley Public Affairs

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