Another social group that could ensure a bright future for the confidence factor is people under 35. The words they use to describe their current state of mind point to a lower level of anxiety, gloom and anger than the older generations.
However, the gaps are not huge (happiness: 23% for 18-35 year olds vs. 18% on average; mistrust 31% vs. 35%; courage 13% vs. 10%). Of course, a new generation is always expected to display greater energy and hope. But given that they have so often been described as a forgotten generation who have only ever experienced economic gloom and whose future is constantly described in alarmist terms (environmental damage, geopolitical crises, permanent economic stagnation, etc.), their testimonies are somewhat surprising.
So while their self-confidence is lower than that of their elders – self-belief grows with age – their confidence in society is greater (32% vs. 29% on average and 26% in the case of 50-75 year olds).
Because they learned how to use them at a very young age, they have no fear of the latest media channels. One in two has confidence in the internet (vs. 40% on average and 35% of 50-75 year olds) and 36% in social media (vs. 31% on average and 27% of 50-75 year olds). Therefore there is no blind faith, a sign of impressive maturity and realism regarding the digital economy. Indeed, young people are just as anxious as the average European when it comes to submitting their personal data on line (64%) and only slightly more prepared than other Europeans to provide more information in exchange for customized services (50% vs. 44% on average and 38% of 50-75 year olds). What they show is a desire to benefit from a win-win situation in the face of developments that they believe are inevitable.
Earning more without spending mindlessly
From an economic and financial perspective, young people are making the most of their entry into the professional world. Their incomes are rising steadily, which is one of their main priorities. But this does not signify that they are prepared to spend their money without a second thought. While they would like to spend more (particularly in France, at 45% vs. 35%), they are also keen to save, chiefly for the purpose of accumulating funds for future projects and in case of hard times (51% in France vs. 34% on average). For this generation, building up savings is the main obstacle to spending.
A return to traditional values
In any case, the days when the 18-35 generation was synonymous with rebellion, questioning the status quo, overturning values and rejecting social structures seem long gone. 90% of young Europeans have confidence in their family and 86% in their friends. They too see their intimate community as something of a haven.
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