But results show people think women, ethnic minorities and homosexuals enjoy better lives in the modern day
Young people today may be the first generation to find themselves worse off than their parents. It would be natural, then, for them to ask whether better access to education, advanced technology and the other benefits of millennial life are a fair trade-off for job security, affordable homes and student grants.
Now a new YouGov survey reveals that Britons think it was better to be a young person in the 1960s and 1970s, around the time that Baby Boomers were young, than it is today. One in four (40%) believe this, compared to 26% who say the opposite. A further 17% say that both time periods were equally good.
The older the person, the more likely they are to say it was better to be young in the past. Close to half of Baby Boomers (49%) think it was better to be young when they were, which is more than twice the number who believe that young people today have things better (22%).
While the figures are closer, Generation X and Millennials are also more likely to think that the past rather than the present was a superior time for young people compared to today, by 37% to 25% and 32% to 26% respectively.
Only the adult representatives of Generation Z (the generation generally held to have began in 1997, of whom those aged 18 to 21 were included in this survey) think that now is the better time to be a young person, at 39% to 24%.
When it comes to the best time to be an old person, a plurality of each generation believe that the present day is best.
Most believe women have it better today, but men aren’t sure about themselves
While the #MeToo revelations show that women still do not have things as good as men, the large majority of people believe that things are better than they were. Two thirds of people (67% of women and 68% of men) say that it’s better to be a woman now than it was in the 1960s/70s. Just 6% from each gender believe that ladies had it better back then.
When it comes to the best time to be a man, however, opinions become less clear.
A plurality of women (44%) think men had things just as good in both time periods. Men are closely split though, with 35% saying that it was better to be a man in the 1960s/70s and 34% saying that both time periods were similar. Among both genders only 14% to 16% say it’s better to be a man in the present day.
Aside from women, there are three other social groups that the large majority of people feel have things much better now. Close to Aside from women, there are three other social groups which the large majority of people feel have things much better now. Close to three quarters of Britons believe that people from ethnic minorities (73%) and those with disabilities (74%) are better off now than they would have been in past decades. Britons are even more sure that gay people have it better today, with 82% expressing this view.
Full tables coming shortly