3 Worrying Trends in Young People's Economic Security | New Research with RSA

Youth Thinking | 20 Jan 2022


This week research for our client at the RSA reached headlines as their new report revealed the worrying state of young people's economic security and how this is following them into adulthood. 

We conducted research with 1,200 16-24-year olds that informed the RSA's 'Young People's Future Health and Economic Security Project', which is supported by the Health Foundation as part of their 'Young People's Future Health Inquiry'. 

The report revealed that 47% of those surveyed are financially precarious, meaning that almost half of young people are struggling to make ends meet each month.

Worryingly there were three trends that emerged from the research that contribute to the rising concern for young people's economic security: 

1. The Financial Burden Will Follow Young People as they get Older

According to the report, those who are in a financially precarious situation increases by 19% in 16-18-year olds compared to 22-24-year olds. 

RSA comments: "At the same time, young people also become more likely to take on debt, less likely to have savings, and less likely to be able to access support from family as they get older." 

2. Neither Work Nor Welfare Offers Economic Security

56% of young people in employment and 79% who are receiving Universal Credit are are financially precarious.

RSA comments: "Only a third (32%) of young people in work feel that it provides them with enough money to maintain a decent standard of living and around one in five (19%), sometimes have trouble meeting their basic living costs because their income varies each month." 

3. The Future Health & Financial Wellbeing of Young People is at Risk

Most young people who are financially precarious say they're worried about their financial, housing and employment situations, their physical and mental health and their future overall.  

RSA continues: "Across the financial spectrum, many young people also doubt the future financial security of their generation; between 40 and 60 percent feel that different forms of financial security, such as home ownership, living independently, and earning enough to live comfortably at retirement or support a family, are out of reach for young people like them."

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RSA's Recommendations for Policy Change Around Young People's Economic Security:

  • Stop thinking about young people at static moments of their lives
  • Don't discriminate against young people compared to older generations
  • Take a long-term approach to economic security for today's youth

Read more about why the current system is failing young people and the policies that the RSA propose to resolve the issue. Click here or follow the button below to access the full RSA report.

Read the full report

Media Coverage 

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If you enjoyed reading this, you may also like to read our eBook: Banking on the Next Generation

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