A matter of perspective? Outlook inequality and its impact on young people

This report explores young people’s “outlook” in the UK, and the role of outlook in shaping life outcomes. Drawing on new survey data and interviews with 16-25 year olds from relatively disadvantaged family backgrounds, it identifies a significant “outlook inequality” amongst young people, worsening since the Global Financial Crisis and further deepened by COVID-19.

“Outlook” refers to a range of aspects of the way young people view themselves and the world. This includes an individual’s self-esteem, aspirations, attitude, motivations and sense of control over one’s life. This report argues that outlook matters and can influence life outcomes.

There is a compelling case for policy to focus on measures that could enhance young people’s outlook as we emerge from the Coronavirus pandemic, addressing the significant structural factors in society that are currently dampening their outlook.


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