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Free Speech Mentorn Media Debt Poll

ComRes interviewed young people on behalf of Mentorn Media.

Date Published: 10 Sep 2012

Categories: Financial Services | Public and communities | Social | UK



More than a third of young people are more financially dependent on their parents than they expected to be, a poll for the BBC Three’s Free Speech has found.

Asked: “Are you more or less dependent on financial support from their parents than expected to be at your age?”, 35% said they are more dependent than expected. Just under a third (31%) say they are less dependent than expected; 32% say they are about the same as they had expected.

Almost 40% of young people who owe money admit they are worried about their current level of debt.

Asked “How worried, if at all, are you about your current level of debt?”, 10% of those currently in debt say they are very worried; 29% are fairly worried; 36% not very worried and 25% not at all worried.

The poll of 500 16-25 year olds was conducted by ComRes, who spoke to people by telephone between July 2nd and 12th, 2012. Respondents were sampled and weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults aged 16-25.

The poll was conducted after Prime Minister David Cameron’s Welfare Speech when he said:“There is a growing phenomenon of young people living with their parents into their 30s because they can’t afford their own place – almost 3 million between the ages of 20 and 34.

“So for literally millions, the passage to independence is several years living in their childhood bedroom as they save up to move out.”

The full results of the BBC poll will be reported in Free Speech, produced by Mentorn Media and presented by Jake Humphrey, on BBC Three on Tuesday, September 11th, at 8pm. The programme will be broadcast live from Manchester with a studio audience of 120 young people and a panel of guests.

Asking people in debt: “Excluding any mortgage debt that you may have, how long do you expect it will be before you pay this off completely?”, 23% say more than 15 years; 16% say 10-15 years; 12% say 5-10 years; 8% say 3-5 years; 14% say 1-3 years; 17% say it will take up to a year.

On average, young people expect that it will take 8.5 years to completely pay off their current levels of debt. Those who have a university and higher level of education expect it will take longer to clear their debts; an average of 11.4 years. 

Notably,  young people in work (47%)  or more likely than those who do not work (38%) to be worried about their current level of debt.

Free Speech is presented by Jake Humphrey and comes live from Manchester on Tuesday 11th September at 8pm. A studio audience of 120 local young people will question a panel of four.
Free Speech is a Mentorn Media production for the BBC.

Notes to Editors

ComRes surveyed 500 16-25-year-olds in Great Britain by telephone between 2nd and 12th July 2012. Data were sampled and weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults aged 16 to 25. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full data tables can be found at

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