Are young people losing interest in politics?

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New ONS research using Understanding Society data reveals that less than a third of young people express any interest in politics.

As part of the Well-Being Measures programme that aims to provide a fuller picture of how society is doing, ONS has published a report exploring people’s interest in politics, how much they trust Government and voting behaviour.

By analysing Understanding Society data, ONS found that:

  • 31% of 16 to 24-year-olds were fairly or very interested in the subject, compared with about half of those aged 55 and over.
  • almost two-thirds of adults of all ages thought they would be seriously neglecting their duty if they failed to vote
  • of those in the youngest group – aged 16 to 24 – 42.4% stated that they had no interest in politics. This fell to 21% for over-65s.

Whether people are more or less likely to feel they have any say over how governments run the country may be an important factor to their continued political interest.

Participants in the Understanding Society study are asked a range of questions about their political and religious beliefs:

  • how interested would you say you are in politics?
  • whether they agreed or not that it took too much time and effort to be active in politics and public affairs
  • generally speaking do you think of yourself as a supporter of any one political party?

Media coverage

this news has been re-posted from the Understanding Society website