Young Chinese, Indians Most Optimistic About Future

Young people in China and India see brighter prospects for their future than do those of any other nation or region, according to a survey by the Financial Times and Spain’s Telefonica.

China had the highest percentage predicting a bright future for the nation’s economy at 93%, followed by India at 81%, according to the telephone survey conducted in January and February of 12,171 people aged 18 to 30 in 27 nations. S. Koreans were also among the most optimistic, with 77% expressing high hopes. By region, Latin America led in optimism at 80%, followed by Asia at 66%.

Optimism about the future correlates with the percentage of young people who expect to have a chance to become an entrepreneur. In China the figure is 67%, compared with 56% in S. Korea and 48% in Japan.

The most pessimistic youth were in Japan where 81% predicted a negative outlook for their economy. Those pessimistic about the economy made up 47% of respondents in N. America and 41% in Western Europe.

China is seen as the strongest driving force for the global economy in the next decade by 58% of all respondents while only 31% say the same about the US.

Surprisingly, young Chinese have the most positive regard for their government, with only 30% believing that it doesn’t represent their own values and beliefs. The percentages were 75% in Japan and 67% in S. Korea. Young Europeans were the most critical about their governments, with 90% of Italians and 80% of Czechs expressing disapproval.

Despite the apparently wholehearted adoption of technology by young people, they have ambivalent attitudes toward it. While over 80% of respondents agreed that it’s a vital tool in finding a job, 62% believe it has widened the wealth gap. However, 36% also believe it’s the key to individual success.