The youth in Germany displays confidence in both democracy and the EU.

A recent data analysis commissioned by the Bertelsmann Stiftung has revealed that the 18 to 30 generation in Germany has more trust in the European Union than the average in other European countries. However, they lack confidence in the German government and parliament.

The study, titled “The Next Generation in Germany: Perspectives on Building a Sustainable Tomorrow,” was conducted by the international market research institute Glocalities and surveyed 2,248 respondents in Germany, including 516 young people aged between 18 and 30 and 1,732 aged between 31 and 70. The poll, which took place online from February to April 2023, compared the results with polling data from nine other European countries (Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom).

The findings showed that 59 percent of young respondents in Germany have confidence in democracy, and 62 percent have confidence in the European Union. This is higher than the average of 50 percent for democracy and 57 percent for the EU in the other nine countries. The study also revealed that young people in Germany hold education and science in high regard, with around three-quarters of respondents expressing confidence in these fields.

However, the survey also highlighted the younger generation’s lack of trust in the German government and parliament. More than half (52 percent) of the 18 to 30 age group expressed distrust in the government, and 45 percent showed a lack of confidence in parliament. The media (60 percent) and religion (58 percent) were also areas of high distrust among young people.

The survey also delved into the concerns of young people, with human rights violations, climate change, and sexual harassment being the top three issues. Interestingly, the study found that young people’s fears regarding climate change were no greater than those of the older generation. In fact, more respondents in the 31 to 70 age group indicated that they follow a more environmentally conscious lifestyle than younger respondents.

Mental health emerged as a major concern among young people, with 41 percent stating that they are worried about it. This is considerably higher than the 26 percent of older respondents who expressed the same concern. Additionally, a larger percentage of young people (36 percent) feel alone, compared to those aged 31 to 70 (28 percent). However, both groups believe that their mental health will worsen in the years ahead.

Overall, the survey showed that both younger and older generations are concerned about the future, with 36 percent of young respondents and 42 percent of older respondents expecting various factors, including living standards, climate, and income inequality, to worsen. The younger age group, however, is more optimistic, with a larger percentage anticipating improvement in these areas.

For more information on the study, please contact Regina von Görtz at +49 52 41 81 81 593 or, or Anja Langness at +49 52 41 81 81 169 or

Derick is an experienced reporter having held multiple senior roles for large publishers across Europe. Specialist subjects include small business and financial emerging markets.

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