As Dutch Youth Look to the Future, They Feel Uncertainty and Optimism
How do Dutch young people feel as they consider what their lives will be like 10 years from now?
We asked this question as part of our Beyond 2020 project, in which we surveyed 16- to 24-year-olds in 15 countries, including the Netherlands.
Here’s what we learned:
Dutch young people feel a mix of uncertainty and optimism about the future. While 57% of Dutch youth report feeling uncertain about their future, even more (77%) have positive feelings about it. Most (88%) know they’ll have to work hard to achieve their goals and 60% feel prepared to deal with whatever life throws at them. When they look to their peers around the globe, they have confidence – 77% believe that their generation has the potential to change the world for the better.
They expect the Dutch economy to be stable, but many are concerned about their own finances. Three-quarters of young people in the Netherlands (76%) expect their economy to be in a healthy state 10 years down the line – well above the global average of 65% and higher than all countries surveyed except China (94%) and Singapore (89%). However, just over half of Dutch young people (52%) believe they will struggle financially in the future.
The environment is their #1 priority as they look ahead. When asked what areas society should prioritize over the next 10 years, Dutch youth chose the environment as most important, followed by systemic racism, wars around the world, gender equality, and terrorism.
Identity and mental health are their top personal priorities for the next decade. When asked what priorities they have for themselves, the top choices among Dutch youth were being comfortable with who they are, taking care of their mental health, having a strong family unit, finding stable employment, and maintaining a good group of friends.
They plan to see the world and have international friendships. Most Dutch youth (70%) expect to travel internationally at least once annually over the next 10 years. Some might be less inclined to get to their destinations by plane, however, with 47% saying they won’t fly due to its environmental impact. Their personal connections will know no borders, with 61% of Dutch young people expecting to have friends in many countries.
They understand the responsibility for future change is in their hands – but they expect brands to play a role, too. Two-thirds of Dutch youth (67%) predict that 10 years from now, they will be actively involved in creating a society of equality. And while 71% expect brands to stand up to social injustice today, 76% believe that in a decade, brands will be taking more of a stand against social injustice.