Despite mental health and climate concerns, youth believe they can improve the world, survey for World Children’s Day finds
Young people are often seen as having a bleak worldview, plugged uncritically into social media and anxious about the climate crisis, among other pressing issues.
But a global study commissioned by the UN’s children’s agency, Unicef, appears to turn that received wisdom on its head. It paints a picture of children believing that the world is improving with each generation, even while they report anxiety and impatience for change on global heating.
While 64% of those in low- and middle-income countries believed children would be better off economically than their parents, young people in high-income countries had little faith in economic progress. There, fewer than a third of young respondents believed children today would grow up to be better off economically than their parents.
More than a third of young people reported often feeling nervous or anxious, and nearly one in five said they often felt depressed or had little interest in doing things.
On average, 59% of young people said children today faced more pressure to succeed than their parents did.