Let's Start Talking - Some Things Never Change

Let's Start Talking - Some Things Never Change

4 Oct 2019

20s ‘decade of worry’, agree generations 

  • Inter-generational study uncovers our 20s as the most worrying period of our lives
  • Current twenty-somethings worry about climate change and economy: nuclear war, global conflict and social tensions worried baby boomers in the 60s and 70s
  • Health and wellbeing of loved ones remains constant worry through generations

We’re a nation of worriers, and we’re most affected by these feelings in our 20s.

The new research from the UK’s leading life insurance broker LifeSearch has uncovered the extent of Brits’ worries and how they compare to generations gone by.

Across the decades, the 20s was declared the most worrying time of life1, with around three quarters of people in their 20s (77%) feeling worried all the time.

However, when looking at the top causes for concern, what people worry about in these early years of adulthood HAS changed… in some cases dramatically. 

Evidently for baby boomers2 the Second World War wasn’t such distant history with ‘global conflict’ a key worry. For today’s 20-somethings, this has been replaced by the threat of global warming as a major concern. 

Similarly, while those born in the late forties, fifties and sixties feared nuclear war as a terrifying reality in their twenties; young adults today don’t rank this as a major concern, but do fear the collapse of the economy to a similar degree.  

And while social tensions – which resulted in strikes, food shortages and power blackouts – worried baby boomers when they were young, it’s political tensions that concern today’s young people as Brexit divides the nation.  

Yet when it comes to the biggest worries that unite the generations, both current young adults and today’s baby boomers are on the same page, with the health and wellbeing of themselves and their loved ones a key concern, showing that some things never change.  

Emma Walker from LifeSearch comments:

"Worries are a natural part of life and Brits are evidently a nation of worriers. However, by using protection products such as income, life or critical illness cover, you can take the sting out of some concerns and know that should the worst happen, your family will be looked after." 

The findings have been released by LifeSearch as part of its Let’s Start Talking campaign, which aims to encourage Britons to talk about the big things in life rather than keeping their worries to themselves. 

Top worries for those in their twenties and baby boomers (51+) at the same age
20-29 year olds Baby boomers (51+) at that age
The future Financial security
Financial security Job security
The health/mortality of my loved ones The future
My own health The health/mortality of my loved ones
Getting on the property ladder Getting on the property ladder
Job security My own health
Climate change Violence
The economy Nuclear war
Crime My own mortality
Violence Crime
My own mortality Global conflict
Political instability Societal tensions

Find out more at /talksomethingsneverchange



Notes to editors
Omnibus research was conducted by CensusWide on behalf of LifeSearch. This was an online poll of 2,001 adults aged 16+ and a national representative spread. The research was conducted in September 2019.

The LifeSearch ‘Let’s Start Talking’ Report was released in March 2019 and polled 2,031 people between 17th and 21st February 2019. The data was weighted to be a national representative sample. Full report is available here.

1. When asked During Which time of your life do you think you spent the most time worrying, the highest proportion answered their 20s. This was 20.64% and equates to 413/2,001 respondents
2. Baby boomers defined as those aged 51+

For media comment, case studies and interviews please contact

Victoria Mayman: 020 3856 9484 
Liam Reeves: 020 3668 6904



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