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BBC Beliefs Survey – November 2019

What do you think is right and wrong? And do you know why? What makes you behave the way you do? How do you make your day-to-day decisions? We get a snapshot of morality in the UK in 2019 and understand where our values come from.

  • This survey suggests your age is most likely to define your morality, more than your religion – or
    lack of it – social grade, gender, or where you live in the UK.
  • This survey found that seven in ten adults (70%) think that it’s important for people to have a moral framework in their lives – this is as true for people with no traditional faith, as those with. But what we individually consider isright and wrong varies considerably. The difference is most evident through the generations.
  • In Sex & Relationships – this survey found that 16-34 year olds are considerably more liberal when it comes to same sex relationships – they are almost twice as likely to think it’s personally acceptable to be in a same sex relationship than those 55+. And they are much more open to sharing intimate photos of their partners with – and even without – consent.
  • But they are also far more likely than their elders to step in if they witness cases of sexual harassment or bullying.
  • At Work if you’re 16-34, this survey found that you are almost twice as likely to take a sickie even if you’re not ill than those 55+ but you’re also almost twice as likely to feel you have to stay late or come in early just because your colleagues do (40% vs 22%).
  • In the Online World, this survey suggests there are stark generational differences with the tech savvy (and tech-pressured) young consistently more comfortable with a range of online behaviours including creating overly flattering online profiles, aggressively criticising someone’s views or appearance online and committing violent crimes in virtual reality, including rape.
  • When it comes to the Environment – those 55+ are most likely to feel significant responsibility to protect the planet for future generations, with the figures suggesting that youth activism hasn’t yet translated into mass behaviour change. But in terms of diet, attitudes are shifting – it is those 16-34 who are most likely to be vegetarian or vegan for environmental, animal welfare and religious reasons.
  • In Wider Society, this survey found that the young are the most open to immigrants and refugees, with 56% of those 16-34 feeling that as a nation, we have a duty to welcome people from less fortunate circumstances, significantly more than their older counterparts.
  • And there appears to be a declining sense of nationhood through the generations – 63% of those over 55+ feel our country’s history is something to be proud of, compared with 44% of 16-34 year olds. The proportion who feel significant responsibility to put the nation first also decreases with age.

Date Published: 21/11/2019

Categories: Faith | GB | Media | Public and communities | Social

Client: BBC


Savanta ComRes surveyed a total of 3,655 UK adults aged 16+, including a 1,000 boost of 16-34 year olds and a 500 boost of Muslims, online, between the 16th – 28th May 2019. Data were weighted to be representative of all UK adults aged 16+ by age, gender, region, ethnicity and religion. Savanta ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

  1. BBC-Morality-Survey-PDF-1 0.02 MB.
  2. BBC-Morality-Survey-Report_FINAL-Infographic-Deck_28_10_19 0.02 MB.

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