05/06/2013 14:22 BST | Updated 05/06/2013 14:28 BST

European Millennials Believe Their Best Days Have Already Gone, Fear For the Future (INFOGRAPHIC)

Crowd cheering and watching a band on stage, shallow DOF.
Crowd cheering and watching a band on stage, shallow DOF.

Young western Europeans are fearful for the future of their countries, believing their best days have already gone and that the economic future looks bleak.

That's the pessimistic verdict from the largest and most comprehensive study of adult millennials conducted to date with those same young adults believing they are unable to make a difference on the global arena.

In a survey of 12,171 'Millennials' - adults aged between 18 and 30 - commissioned by Telefónica, in partnership with the Financial Times, only 41% of Europeans agreed with the idea that their "country's best days are ahead". North America produced a similar response (47%) unlike those in the emerging economies such as Latin America (78%) and Asia (79%) who were looking forward to the years ahead.

Nearly three-quarters of Europeans (71%) also didn't believe they could "make a global difference", a figure only beaten by their eastern neighbours, 75% of whom were more pessimistic, figures reflecting the difficult economic and social conditions across the continent.

However, there was more confidence amongst European when asked about the power of technology, 78% believing technology had made it easier to get a job. This is particularly true of UK millennials, according to Telefonica UK's CEO.

“Our economy is now a digital economy and our current generation of young people will be vital to fuelling its success,” Ronan Dunne told techweekeurope.

“Digital literacy is fast becoming a minimum standard in the same way as English and Maths and UK millennials are in a unique position to capitalise on the opportunities the digital economy presents."

More insights on the survey can be seen in the infographic below


Telefónica, in partnership with the Financial Times, commissioned 12,171 online quantitative interviews among Millennials, aged 18-30, across 27 countries in six regions including North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, and Middle East / Africa. Penn Schoen Berland conducted the survey from 11 January – 4 February 2013.