India’s famed demographic dividend – half of its 1.2 billion population is below the age of 26 – may end up accruing to some other country. Considerably more than half of the young men and women in the HT-MaRS Youth Survey 2016 do not believe that India is their irrefutable homeland, and will be more than happy to live elsewhere.
An overwhelming percentage, about three-fourths, says they find this country at best “acceptable”. Most of them rate it poor on gender equality, employment opportunity, educational opportunity, and freedom enjoyed by the youth.
It’s not just the national sentiment that has weakened; the concept of true, everlasting love has taken a big beating. Just about a fifth of men and women think their current relationship will go the distance; more than half think it will not. More than half are either in favour of living together or undecided. Curiously, the institution of family remains largely intact. Nearly three-fourths of men and women say their relationship with parents is either “close” or “very close”.
Optimism is not running high. A high percentage of men and a higher percentage of women -- 62.8% and 66.1%, respectively – have no hope that something good is going to happen to this country soon. About half believe India needs Superman to set things right. Yet, 41% men and 39% women think they can set things right if made the prime minister for five years. Guess many of us feel there is a superman lurking inside us.
These are some of the findings of the Youth Survey 2016 by HT and MaRS Monitoring and Research Systems. It covered 5,200 respondents, equally divided among men and women, half of them in the 18-21 age group and the other half in 22-25. The respondents are from 15 state capitals and major towns, living in households with televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, computers, and either a car or a two-wheeler. They are either undergraduate students or higher, or employed with at least a bachelors degree. They are regular users of the internet, mobile phones, and social networking sites. The survey was carried out from November 3, five days before the Prime Minster announced demonetisation, to November 20.
We present it in a seven-part series starting today.
Read more stories from HT MaRS Youth Survey here.