The next generation of UK voters have been dubbed “Generation Angst” in a landmark survey that claims today’s teens are overwhelmingly anxious about what the future holds for them.
According to the Edelman Trust Barometer 2017, which surveyed 1,000 16 to 18-year-olds, just 14% of teens are confident about their prospects post-Brexit, believing older generations have left them a “poisoned legacy”.
But why are Generation Angst so anxious about their future?
1. They don’t believe there’s a single politician qualified to run the UK
The survey revealed that the next generation of voters have little faith in politicians and their abilities to lead the country.
When asked who they would vote for in a general election, the overwhelming response from this group was “None of the above”, at 22%.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was the highest ranked politician among young people, receiving 18% of the theoretical votes, while current Prime Minister Theresa May lagged 7 points behind at 11% - 1% less than her predecessor David Cameron.
2. They don’t trust any public institutions
There is not single external institution 16 to 18-year-olds trust to do right by their generation.
Dismissing the EU, the British people and the monarchy, young people believe only their family, friends and own generation can be trusted to protect their prospects.
Just 24% of young people have faith that the UK government will do what is right for the future of their generation.
3. They want a second chance on Brexit
Brexit is one of the most significant causes of concern for teens, according to Edelman.
With more than two-thirds (69%) of 16 to 18-year-olds claiming they would have voted Remain if given the chance, the majority now believe the Referendum results should not be acted on.
While 13% believe the original vote should be ignored altogether, a further 39% believe a second referendum should be held.
Many of this group just missed out on having their say in the once-in-a-generation vote.
In 2015, the House of Lords voted to lower the voting age to 16 for the EU Referendum on the grounds that it would help get more teenagers involved in politics.
But MPs in the Commons blocked the move, with some pro-Leave politicians arguing that it would give the Remain camp an unfair advantage.
4. Did we mention they’re fearful of Brexit?
Unlike older generations, teens who did not have the opportunity to vote in the EU Referendum are much more anxious about the effects of Brexit.
While 63% have serious concerns that leaving the EU will damage the political stability of Europe, compared to half of the general population, 59% believe Brexit will have a negative impact on future generations.
Young people also listed the effect on society, the economy and immigration as other prominent worries.
5. They think social media is changing too much, too quickly
Surprisingly, one of the major concerns of Generation Angst is that social media is developing too quickly - an issue they are far more anxious about than their less tech-savvy parents and grandparents.
Almost two-thirds (59%) of 16 to 18-year-olds believe that the pace of change in this sector is too quick, despite the fact 75% of young people use sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram every day.
Cécile Nathan-Tilloy, managing director of Edelman Intelligence, told The Huffington Post UK that this fear is due to the fact that this group is at the forefront of the change.
“They are often the first to be hit by innovation,” she said.
“Because they are digital natives, born to this world of technology, we think it’s easy and instinctive for them, but really it isn’t.
“It still requires effort and understanding to cope with constant change and it isn’t often that young people have a chance to express that point of view.”