Teens in Developing Nations Are More Optimistic About Their Futures Than Those in Western Europe

Illustration for article titled Teens in Developing Nations Are More Optimistic About Their Futures Than Those in Western Europe
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A new survey  by Ipsos found that teenagers in developing nations are staggeringly more optimistic about their futures than those in developed, western European nations, the Guardian reports. The study, which looked at a variety of factors including access/knowledge of politics, living conditions, women’s rights and education, determined that 90% of teens in Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria and China are hopeful, though there “was widespread dissatisfaction with politicians” across all countries, developing and developed.


There are a variety of factors for this unexpected shift. Aga Khan University’s Dr Alex Awiti told the Guardian young people in East Africa (Kenya) are positive because of their activism and power:

“If young people want to mobilize, all the governments in east Africa could be toppled within a matter of days. What is impressive is young people across east Africa really know what they want...Young people still manage to remain optimistic and invested in their future, making their own sacrifices to get ahead. They also want to succeed, they want everything everybody wants, they want to buy a home, buy a car. They just want to get involved in the daily process of running society.”

In contrast, an analyst for the Happiness Research Institute in Denmark, Michael Birkjaer, believes the financial crisis and “loneliness epidemic in the west” is responsible for Western European teens’ pessimism. He told the Guardian, “Young people [in the west] are faced with these stories of millennials being the first generation not to do better than their parents and there’s perhaps an emerging, collective perception in the developed countries of scarcity of opportunities. In developing countries the social benchmark of the good life is perhaps perceived as more achievable.”

There’s a lot of interesting data that seems to verify both claims: only one in five teens in France and 27 percent of teens in the U.K. claimed to be knowledgable in politics, the effect of indifference. In India, that number skyrockets to 55 percent. More and more young women in India, too, are interested in participating in women’s rights to counteract the growing violence against them—almost eight in 10 respondents said “they were confident that living conditions for women and girls in India would improve over the next 15 years,” according to the survey. (In June, as you might recall, a 2018 survey of 548 women’s issues experts conducted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation found India to be the most dangerous country in the world for women.)

Read more from the Guardian here.

URL: Senior Writer, Jezebel. IRL: Author of the very good book 'LARGER THAN LIFE: A History of Boy Bands from NKOTB to BTS,' out now.



Kenyan here! Lived in the states for sixteen years and moved back in may.

There is a VAST difference from when I left, it’s almost tangible. Kenya went through an economic collapse similar to 2008 in the states before we left and it was horrible. Nobody, and I mean nobody, had money for food much less bills or sending their kids to school.

There are some serious issues that worry me economically though, the cost of living is ridiculous. Interest rates are too and banks aren’t lending. taxes are even more so but I liken the youth now to black women in the states. Faith in institutions is poor, nigh on non existent but participation in things is critical coupled with incredibly educated youths, it’s only finding a niche cause the citizens themselves have money to spend.

I tell everyone, come home! You are needed here! Let’s build our own cities. Don’t move to the capital, move back to the rural areas. Struggle for the first two years but you’ll have so much to show for it.

A Chinese businessman started running his mouth saying racist shit, his ass was deported in two days.

I am valued here, I don’t need to beg anyone to prove my value. Look at kavanuagh, brexit, Is it any wonder that we are more optimistic?