Evidence, News | Feb 20 2016

National Youth Social Action survey 2016

Once again Step Up To Serve and the Office for Civil Society have commissioned Ipsos MORI to run the "National Youth Social Action Survey:. Here are the results for 2016.

Headline finding: 42% of young people take part in "meaningful social action"

The study, which has been running since the #iwill campaign began in 2013, examines the level of participation in youth social action at a population level for the UK.  The survey asks roughly 2,000 young people aged 10-20 from around the UK. Data is weighted by age within gender, region and family socio-economic status, to reflect the known profile of the UK population. A summary of the finding can be found here.


  • Participation in “meaningful” social action remains unchanged from 2014 at 42% (compared to 41% in 2014)
  • 31% of young people aged 10-20 have “never” taken part in any kind of social action
  • One third (33%) of young people took part in a social action programme in 2016.
  • Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are still taking part in social action less, but the gap in participation appears to be narrowing (9% gap in 2016, compared to 20% gap in 2014)
  • The socio-economic gap between affluent and disadvantaged backgrounds is even greater for participation in social action programmes (45% ABC1, compared to 27% C2DE)
  • Encouragement and support from schools, parents and friends is identified as a critical factor in getting young people involved – 95% of those who participate received encouragement, compared to 45% of those who have never taken part.
  • 69% of young people got involved through school or college; and 60% through encouragement by their teacher
  • Only 33% of young people who have never taken part in social action think the experience would help them get a job in future


Benefits of taking part 

Compared with those who have never taken part, young people who participated in social action in the last 12 months are likely to report:

  • Higher life satisfaction: they scored themselves an average of 8.6 out of 10, compared with 8.1 for those who have never taken part.
  • Better social networks: they were more likely to “definitely agree” that if they needed help, there would be someone there to support them (84%, compared to 62% for those who have never taken part)

Young people who took part in a social action programmes were more likely to report benefits linked to the quality principles than those who did social action by other means:

  • Learnt something new (92%% compared to those who did not take part through a programme)
  • Be recognised for the difference they made (74% compared to 52% of those who did not)
  • Have a say in the activity (75% vs 63%)


For the full research report by Ipsos MORI, please visit: https://www.ipsos.com/sites/default/files/2017-02/youth-social-action-in-uk-2016.pdf

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.
You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>