06 January 2022

  • 90% of young people (aged 10-25) want to achieve financial security in the future, (67%) believe they will (23%) think it’s unlikely to happen
  • Buying a house is top of the financial aspiration checklist for young people yet only two thirds (66%) think it will happen

As the new year gets underway, improving our savings is likely to be top of many 2022 resolutions, however, a new year brings fresh challenges for young people as a major new study from the Co-op, looking at the attitudes and aspirations of young people – the Ghosted Generation reveals they foresee financial challenges in their future.

The study reveals that 90% of young people (aged 10-25) value financial security above all else, however a quarter (23%) think it’s unlikely to happen.

Buying a house, tops their lists of financial goals, as over four fifths (83%) state this is the case yet only two thirds (66%) think it’s likely to happen.

In addition to scrutinising their own future financials, the study also looks at how young people are comparing their financial aspirations to their elder generations. Three quarters (74%) of young people want to earn more than their parents, but less than two thirds (60%) think that they will.

Sadly, young people currently not in education, employment, or training (NEETs) are likely to show far greater disparities between their wants and their belief in likelihood to achieve those wants. For instance, almost one in nine (86%) of NEETs want to be financially secure but only two fifths (43%) believe this is likely to happen. Similarly, almost three quarters (72%) want to buy a house but less than two fifths (37%) believe it’s a possibility.

Almost two-thirds (60%) of young people feel their generation will be permanently disadvantaged by the pandemic, and young people currently not in education, employment, or training (NEETs) are even less optimistic about their future aspirations following the pandemic.

Despite the impact of the pandemic, the research still shows that young people do have ambitions and aspirations for the future. However, there is a hope deficit that has emerged between the ambition of young people and their belief in being able to reach these goals.

Steve Murrells, Co-op Group CEO, said: “Young people are the DNA of the future of this country, and we simply cannot have a situation where the majority of them - the Ghosted Generation - feel like they cannot change their path or improve their life chances.

“This research shows that unfortunately, this generation feel they are unable to do that, and that financial security and buying their own property is out of their reach. Sadly, the disparities are even greater for those currently out of employment, education or training.

“It is vital that decision-makers take note of this and combine the lived experience of young people with subject matter knowledge from experts to develop tangible solutions that will actually make a difference to young people’s lives. We urge the Government to draw on this insight as it develops future policies and to ensure the opinions of young people on these issues are heard at the highest level.”

In response to the findings, Co-op has worked with leading charities and organisations to provide a key resource hub for young people to help them take control of their futures.


For more information, please contact: sarah.fitton@coop.co.uk & elliott.lancaster@coop.co.uk

Notes to editors From 28th July - 10th August 2021, ICM Unlimited conducted an online survey, on behalf of Co-op, with N=5040 young people aged 10 to 25 years old in the UK. To ensure a representative sample, demographic quotas were set, and the data has been weighted back to the profile of 10- to 25-year-olds in the UK. It should be remembered that while the data has been weighted to be representative, a sample was interviewed and not the entire population.

About Co-op The Co-op is one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives with interests across food, funerals, insurance and legal services. Owned by millions of UK consumers, the Co-op operates 2,500 food stores, over 800 funeral homes and provides products to over 5,100 other stores, including those run by independent co-operative societies and through its wholesale business, Nisa Retail Limited. Employing over 62,000 people, the Co-op has an annual turnover of £11.5 billion. As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Co-op is a recognised leader for its social goals and community-led programmes. The Co-op exists to meet members’ needs and stand up for the things they believe in.