Cost of living crisis leaving young people fearful of having children

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Almost 50 percent of 16-25-year-olds worry that they will never earn enough to support having children, a study has found. A report from the Prince’s Trust said that the age group are experiencing their lowest levels of happiness and self-confidence in the 14 years since the charity’s research began.

The cost of living crisis and threat of recession are the biggest factors contributing to this decline.

The Prince’s Trust has just unveiled its youth index, with mental health and money leading to a large amount of unhappiness amongst younger people.

Data was taken from a YouGov poll carried out between November 22 and December 7 last year, with 2,025 16-25-year-olds surveyed.

It said 57 percent of those asked named the cost of living crisis as their biggest fear for the future, while 34 percent said it was the coming recession.

Nearly half (46 percent) said economic concerns made them feel hopeless about the future, with this figure rising to 55 percent amongst those from poorer backgrounds.

A similar figure, 45 percent, fear they will never earn enough to support raising a family, with this also going up to 53 percent for those from a less wealthy background.

The Prince’s Trust’s UK chief executive Jonathan Townsend said: “Having already lived through one of the most turbulent times to be young, this year’s Prince’s Trust NatWest Youth Index is a warning sign that, post-pandemic, young people’s wellbeing has not recovered.

“It reveals that for this generation – the class of Covid – economic uncertainty is having a profound impact on their wellbeing and confidence in achieving their aspirations in the future.

“Most concerningly, the report also suggests that these challenges are hitting young people from the most disadvantaged backgrounds hardest, with those who received free school meals or who are unemployed reporting consistently worse wellbeing in all aspects of life.”

For 64 percent the biggest goal was achieving security in their finances, while 43 percent chose good mental health and 36 percent picked having a family.

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Some 70 percent said having a job that gives them financial stability is good for their mental health, and 59 percent said being employed at all had a positive impact on their mental wellbeing.

However, 47 percent shared their worries about the impact of a recession on their job security, rising to 52 percent of those from poorer backgrounds.

More positively the survey said that 70 percent of young people feel determined to achieve their life ambitions.

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