Alarming Decline in UK Youth Confidence and Happiness Revealed by Prince’s Trust NatWest Youth Index 2022


On the 23rd of February 2022, the Prince’s Trust NatWest Youth Index for 2022 issued a warning. It revealed that one in four young people in the United Kingdom believe that they will never fully recover from the emotional toll inflicted by the pandemic, leading to a historic low in their confidence and happiness levels.


The Youth Index, an annual survey conducted by YouGov involving 2,106 individuals aged 16 to 25 across the UK, paints a stark picture of the impact of the pandemic on the younger generation. Those facing disadvantages and unemployment exhibited significantly lower overall well-being, with a staggering 25% stating that they consistently experience anxiety.


Shockingly, almost half, or 48%, of all young people reported grappling with mental health issues, highlighting the widespread distress caused by the pandemic. Furthermore, nearly half of these young individuals, amounting to 48%, expressed feeling “burnt out,” while 46% experienced self-loathing. Additionally, 36% revealed that the pandemic had a lasting negative effect on their stress levels, with 46% stating that their mental health had deteriorated, and 44% admitting to heightened anxiety levels.


These disheartening findings underscore the need for immediate action to support the emotional well-being of the nation’s youth. Jonathan Townsend, UK Chief Executive of The Prince’s Trust, emphasised the urgency, describing the pandemic as a lasting scar on young people in the UK. He called for cooperation between businesses, government, and charities to equip young individuals with the skills and confidence necessary to face the future with optimism.


Aside from emotional well-being, financial concerns weigh heavily on young people’s minds. A third of them, equating to 33%, expressed unhappiness with their financial situation, while 47% claimed they never have enough money left at the end of the month for savings after covering their expenses.


Alison Rose, Chief Executive of NatWest Group, echoed the importance of prioritising young people’s well-being and nurturing their potential. The partnership between NatWest and The Prince’s Trust aims to dismantle both real and perceived obstacles, enabling thousands of young people to overcome challenges and envision a brighter future. These findings serve as a poignant reminder of the collective responsibility to safeguard the welfare and aspirations of the youth in the face of such adversity.


The full report can be found here:



28th January 2024

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