It feels as though we take for granted that each generation will be better off than the one before. It’s a staple of capitalism that progress underpins the society we live in. One of the more startling statistics from our Future of Britain study suggests that not everybody feels this will be the case.
We asked people whether they expected to be better or worse off than their parents. Overall, nearly half (43%) of respondents said that they do expect to be better off than their parents, but when we peek a little further into the data, an interesting story emerges.
Amongst the 35-44 age group, some 46% think they will be worse off than their parents – a staggering reverse of the overall sentiment. So why is this? Data from the study shows that this group of people have been most affected financially by the recession. With mortgages to pay, houses to heat, cars to run and children to feed, this group experiences a wide range of financial pressures. They are also the group most likely to have been severely impacted by a slowdown in property value increases and to have the biggest debt hangover.
All of these factors rolled up means that we are seeing a specific slice of society that genuinely feels that they may be worse off than their parents – the golden generation of boomers who seemingly had it all.