NEWS2 August 2017

Happiness ‘more important to teens than wealth’

Brexit News Trends UK Youth

UK – Nearly three quarters ( 73%) of teens believe that happiness is a bigger priority than earning lots of money, according to a new MediaCom study.

Teens happy crop

The study, which looks into the aspirations and worries of young people, also revealed that three quarters say they want a job they have a passion for, regardless of pay levels, and just 34% believe money is the biggest measure of success. 

However, teens are reportedly less confident about their future than they were this time last year. Just over half ( 53%) of teenagers have become more confident about their future over the last year, compared with 61% the year before. Girls in particular are much less confident this year ( 46% in 2016-17 compared with 60% in 2015-16 ).

The reasons given for this decrease in confidence are: a concern for safety in the UK ( 69%), the economy ( 65%), and the environment ( 65%). The cost of going to university is a concern for 59%, and 57% are worried about politics. 

But for older teenagers ( 17-19 year-olds), being in a well-paid job ( 67%) and buying a property ( 63%) are of greater importance than remaining close to family ( 59%) and being in a long-term relationship ( 58%). 

“It’s really quite refreshing to see teenagers of today value happiness over money," said Josh Krichefski, CEO of MediaCom UK.

"We should be very proud of ‘Generation Z’ – they clearly believe being fulfilled as most important to them. However, there are huge pressures on young people nowadays to get a good education, find their way on the property ladder and earn a good keep. 

"The economy, environment and safety are all legitimate concerns, particularly for a generation that has grown up in a recession and with the threat of global terror ever present. Together with recent world events and growing concerns about the pressures of social media, it’s not surprising that young people are feeling less confident. But it’s certainly no doomsday scenario; young people are ambitious for their future and want to live a life that is fulfilling. We need to ensure we are listening to our youth and providing them with the help they need to succeed."