Young adults’ concerns about debt are nothing new. Since the General Election, many commentators have been writing about differences in generational attitudes. Young adults’ concerns about debt and career prospects have featured prominently.
Examination of research data appears to confirm this. 47% of GB adults aged 20-34 definitely agree that “I don’t like the idea of being in debt”, but so do 48% of adults a generation older, aged 50-64.
The group now aged 50-64 were the 25-39 year-olds of 25 years ago. Despite all that has passed over a quarter of a century, they are just as concerned about debt as they were in 1992. Back then, almost exactly the same number, 49%, definitely agreed with the statement.
If we look at their elders in 1992, we see that 65% of the 50-64s of the time expressed this opinion. So the generational difference of that time has disappeared, but the absolute level of just under 50% today seems to be a constant.
Today’s young adults do seem more concerned about their career prospects than those of previous generations. At least at this point in their lives, many judge them as requiring some family sacrifices. Only 32% of 20-34s now definitely agree that “My family is more important than career” as against 47% of their equivalents of 25 years ago.
Research is vital for businesses taking decisions that have long-term implications. Longitudinal analysis of data such as TGI, including the historical data held within the Archive for Market and Social Research (AMSR), can allow decision-makers to track and assess the impact of their actions.