Survey shows youth more independent, but with poorer mental health

Ljubljana- The Youth 2020 survey into the youth in Slovenia shows that, compared to ten years ago, they are noticeably more active, responsible and independent, while on the other hand they face greater housing problems and more precarious work in the labour, with their mental health also having deteriorated.

The survey, which included 1,200 young people around the country, is the latest one after the ones in 2000 and 2010, and covers some new fields, including the attitude to migration and consumerism.

Presenting the survey on Monday, Andraž Zgonc of the Government Office for Youth added that it busted a number of myths about the young that were rooted in society, including that they drank and smoked a lot.

As many as 70% youths are non-smokers, which is 15 percentage points more than in 2010, while 20% of the respondents do not drink alcoholic beverages, which is nine percentage points more than in the previous survey.

Miran Lavrič of the University of Maribor added that two-thirds of the respondents performed a sport activity every week, which was slightly more than ten years ago.

According to Lavrič, young people are also quicker to move away from their parents, as in 2019 the average age was 27.7 years, two years earlier than in 2010.

Results are, meanwhile, less encouraging when it comes to mental health, as the number of respondents who feel stress doubled compared to 2010, while loneliness is a serious problem for three times more respondents than ten years ago.

The youth in Slovenia are also more worried about solving their housing issue – while a third of the respondents had such worries ten years ago, the share is now up to 45%.

For this reason, more of them are ready to move to another European country if this means better life opportunities, with the share of such respondents standing at three-quarters.

Furthermore, the survey shows a high level of consumer awareness, as more than half of the respondents buy only what they really need, said Tomaž Deželan of the University of Ljubljana.

He noted that there was still little interest in politics among Slovenian youths.

Education Minister Simona Kustec said that the project provided insight into the issue at various levels and was the main starting point for the future national programme for youth.

According to her, the relevant ministries will refer to the survey in creating measures to address the problems pointed out by the survey.