The YouGov Death Study: Britons and their own death

Milan DinicResearch Manager
October 06, 2021, 1:48 PM UTC

How comfortable are Britons talking about their own death?

Seven in ten Britons (72%) say they feel comfortable talking about their own death. A fifth (22%) say they do not, the YouGov Death Study finds.

Britons who are 40 and older (73-77%) are more likely than those who are younger than 40 (64-68%) to say they are comfortable talking about their death.

Feeling comfortable discussing one’s own passing particularly applies to men who are 60 or older, of whom eight in ten (82%) feel at ease with this subject, compared to 73% of women the same age.

The data also shows that 23% of religious Britons who practice their faith, and 25% of religious people who don’t practice, report feeling uncomfortable discussing their own death. This falls to 18% among those who don’t identify as being religious in any way.

How many people have had a near death experience?

A quarter of Britons (24%) have had a near death experience, the YouGov Death Study shows, with this applying more to men (28%) than women (20%).

Three in ten men aged 25+ (28-32%) say they have stared death in the eye at least once, which is the highest compared to other age/gender groups.

How many Britons have a bucket list?

While just 5% of Britons say they have a list of things they want to do before they die – commonly known as a ‘bucket list’ – half (53%) have an idea but not an actual list, and another 5% plan on making one. A third (34%) of Britons, however, don’t have and don’t intend to make a bucket list, with this applying slightly more to men (36%) than women (31%).

Younger Britons are more focused on having a list of things they wish to do before death than the older generations: 81% of those aged 16-24 and 72% of those aged 25-39, compared to just over half of those in their 50s and 60s above (53-54%).

How long do Britons expect to live for?

One in eleven Britons (9%) think they will be at least 91 or older before they die, while 8% think they’ll be 65 or younger.

A third (35%) of Britons say they expect to live between the ages of 81 and 90, the most popular choice.

Among Britons above 60, over half (55%) expect to live past 80, while a fifth (22%) think they will die in their 70s. In this age group, women (58%) are more optimistic than men (52%) about living past 80.

See the full results here