New Millennial Perception Survey Reveals Both Optimism and Frustration Among Global Youth

The International Youth Foundation (IYF) and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), with support from Hilton (NYSE: HLT), released The Global Millennial Viewpoint Survey, which examines the perceptions of 7,600 youth in 30 countries. The survey provides insight into how young people see the world today in areas ranging from education and economic opportunity to health and civic participation, and the findings reveal a story of optimism, insecurity, and disillusionment that reflect the complexity of this important and rapidly growing demographic.

Key findings from the survey include:

•Young people are optimistic about their economic futures: 76 percent of youth surveyed agreed with the statement “I will be able to get the kind of job I want.”
•Youth feel disconnected from their governments: 65 percent think their government does not care about their wants and needs.
•Mental healthcare is an unaddressed need among youth: 60 percent said that “the way I feel emotionally gets in the way of my studies, job, or social life.”
•Income inequality is a major concern for youth: 90 percent agreed with the statement “There is too much economic divide between the high and low income.”
•Income and job flexibility are most important for young people choosing a career path: 71 percent and 56 percent, respectively, ranked these two as the most important factors.

For global businesses, these new findings provide insights into what they can do to attract, retain, and promote young talent. Flexibility in the workplace, starting salary, and long-term earning potential appear to be the primary career path drivers, and young people across regions want their supervisors to help them grow and to demonstrate that they respect and trust them.

“With 1.2 billion young people aged 15 to 24 worldwide, understanding how this generation thinks and feels about their lives and futures is crucial for governments, the private sector, and society at large. At Hilton, we believe that understanding, empowering and investing in the next generation is both a responsibility and an opportunity for our business,” said Max Verstraete, VP Corporate Responsibility & ADA Compliance, Hilton. “We are committed to opening doors for one million youth by 2019 by connecting young people to career opportunities in hospitality, preparing them with the skills and experience they need to be successful, and by employing them directly.”

The study reveals that relatively low percentages of youth feel that their governments care about their wants and needs. At the same time, young people also strongly believe that government plays an important role in their lives: 63 percent of young people surveyed acknowledge that governance and politics affect them.

“Too often, young people find themselves as passive recipients of policies and programs designed for them. This survey aims to shift that paradigm, asking youth what they feel about issues of critical importance,” said Bill Reese, President and CEO, International Youth Foundation. “Young people will continue to shape our world for years to come. Understanding their opinions, fears, and aspirations is critical to their success and our collective future.”