The National Youth Social Action Survey

The National Youth Social Action survey was established in 2014 to measure the extent to which 10-20 year olds are taking part in social action in the UK. The survey, commissioned by DCMS and conducted by Ipsos Mori on behalf of the #iwill campaign, asks over 2,000 young people across the UK each year to share how and why they get involved in social action if they do, or reasons for not taking part if they don’t.

For the purposes of the survey, we say that young people have taken part in ‘meaningful social action’ if they have:

  • Been involved in social action in the past 12 months.
  • Participated in social action at least every few months or taken part in a one-off activity lasting more than a day in the last 12 months.
  • Recognised a benefit to themselves and others and/or the environment because of their social action.

Key findings from the 2018 survey include:

  • The vast majority of young people care about making the world a better place (82%); and believe they can make a difference (74%)
  • 6 out of 10 young people have taken part in social action in the last 12 months
  • However, only 4 out of 10 young people have taken part in ‘meaningful’ social action
  • There is a significant gap in participation (25%) between low-income young people and their wealthier peers
  • Young people would be more likely to take part if they had more encouragement and could take part with their friends
  • Schools continue to be the main route to participation in social action.

You can see more headlines from the 2018 National Youth Social Action Survey in our campaign impact report here. You can also read the short report from Ipsos Mori on the survey here.

Results from previous surveys can be found below:

2014
2015
2015 Data Tables
2016
2017