- According to a 2010 poll conducted by Grazia, the UK’s leading weekly magazine, 73% of people polled aged between 26 and 30 were stressed and depressed, triggered by the fact that they haven’t been able to achieve their goals; goals that were perfectly realistic for their parents. The article actually spoke of an epidemic, with the young generation leaving university debt-ridden, with devalued qualifications and facing a prohibitive housing market.
- The same Grazia poll revealed that as much as 93% of parents are contributing to the finances of their adult children. 93%! That’s almost everybody! This generation has done everything “right”; they’ve worked hard at school and university and have been sent out into the real world only to realise that they have nothing. They can’t get mortgages, they can’t get adequate jobs, there is no stability and they’re unable to plan for the future.
- The share of households in Britain whose income is not enough to pay their bills has risen from 14% a year ago to 16%, or approximately one in six, as per August 2012, according to the Independent. Most of these people actually work, but still cannot make ends meet! Women are apparently likely to be further in the red than men. According to UK charity Credit Action, 299 people are declared insolvent or bankrupt every day. This is equivalent to one person every 4 minutes 49 seconds, as per September 2012.
- Suicide rates have rocketed since the economic downturn began, according to the Independent in August 2012. Around 13,000 people committed suicide in England alone between 2008 and 2010. Apparently that’s 1000 souls “more than expected”, after a 20 year low in 2007. The areas which have had the biggest increase in new unemployed have had the most extra suicides.
- Official statistics put the UK unemployment rate at around 8% as of September 2012. Figures are even worse in Southern Europe: Approximately 25%, or one in four Spaniards and Greeks are unemployed as per August 2012. In the 15-24 age group the figures are even more dire: 55% in Greece and 53% in Spain, according to the BBC and the Financial Times. Terms like “the lost generation” are frequently bandied about when these statistics appear in print.
Against these figures, nobody can tell me that the storyline in this book is implausible!