Alarming levels of loneliness have been reported by young people in Generation Z in a new survey of 20,000 Americans. Those aged 18-22 had by far the worst feelings of loneliness among the different age ranges questioned. Sponsored by health services giant Cigna, the survey was used to create a Loneliness Index. This was comprised of 11 feelings associated with loneliness. A majority of those aged 18-22 said they identified with 10 of the 11 emotions. The results weren’t much better for Millennials (aged 23-37) who reported the second-highest loneliness levels.
Cigna analysts found that students were far more likely to suffer from loneliness than retirees, 90% of whom said they had close friendships and connections to count on. Interesting age is the key dynamic in assessing the likelihood of an individual being lonely, with sex or race having little statistical impact. Unsurprisingly pollsters found that those who engage in regular and meaningful one-on-one interactions were less likely to feel alone. People who kept regular sleeping hours, enjoyed a work-life balance, and exercised often were also less lonely. The use of social media was found to have no correlation to loneliness levels, with Twitteratis just as likely to suffer as those who never log on.
The findings make difficult reading for the loneliest generation. Cigna analysts say suffering from loneliness translates into a very real impact on physical and emotional health and may even be more dangerous than obesity.
Young people in Europe’s most populous countries are largely supportive of the EU project, a new report has found. The Youth 2018 study, conducted by the TUI Foundation, asked more than 6,000 young Europeans a wide range of political questions and uncovered widespread pro-democracy and pro-EU sentiment.
More than seven out of ten young EU nationals surveyed said that if they could vote in a referendum on their country leaving the bloc, they would vote to stay. The pro-EU youth vote in the UK and Greece was the lowest at just above 60%. German youth were the most favourable towards the EU, with 80% declaring they would reject a ‘Ger-exit’.
Importantly, the results show that enthusiasm for the European project has increased in the past year. A similar poll released in 2017 found that just six in ten young Europeans felt positively about the EU. The authors of the latest study suggest that Brexit chaos and the election of Emmanuel Macron in France have contributed to the EU’s greater stature.
The study also found that large majorities of British, French, German, Greek, Italian, Polish and Spanish youth disapproved of populist politics. But this doesn’t mean they are content with the status quo. Less than one in five believe the political system in their home country is functional. Only one in three trust European institutions, such as the ECJ or EP.
Young people are also united by a common identity, with 52% likely to identify themselves as French and European, while just 34% would only describe themselves exclusively by their nationality, i.e. Spanish. A majority of the youth, all aged 16-26, surveyed said they considered Donald Trump to be a threat, except in Poland, where more young people perceived Trump as an opportunity.
Test for travel
As recently reported on Youth-time.eu, the European Union is dishing out free Interrail tickets to 18-year-old citizens this summer. The popular program has now been officially launched and interested travellers can apply for their free train tickets here. There will be 30,000 young Europeans eligible for free train travel this summer but only 15,000 tickets available under the DiscoverEU project. So success is not guaranteed.
The application period will open in June for a two-week period (to be revealed) and young people will have to pass a six-question test on European culture, history and current affairs to be considered. The goal of DiscoverEU is to cultivate a greater European identity among the continent’s youth by facilitating easy international travel across the EU. Politically, the project also hopes to combat populism by encouraging young people to travel and share their culture while absorbing different ones.
Lucky young people who win a ticket will be able to travel on trains for free during a 30-day period across July and August. Applicants must be aged 18 on the date they apply and a citizen of an EU member state.