The environment and excessive development are issues of most concern for Maltese youths

Youths are tomorrow’s future and two separate reports published this week have concluded that the environment and excessive development are the two issues that mainly concern them. Whilst the EY report registered a significant reduction in concerns about Covid by this band of society, the study drawn up by the Church found that 16% of youths are atheists.

70% of the young generation believe that the biggest challenge in the country is the environment. This emerges from an EY study that examines the thinking of the young generation about the country’s future. The study concludes that as far as youths are concerned, excessive development, the environment and traffic are among the greatest challenges in Malta.

Those interviewed also replied that the Government should give priority to investment in waste management, pollution should be reduced, and governance and the education sector should be strengthened. This generation’s proposals for the political class are clear: make the country greener, promote a healthy lifestyle, raise the standard of living and press for a higher level of education in Malta.

A separate survey among youths in the 16 to 39 age group as part of a project by the Malta Catholic Youth Network (MCYN) and the Justice and Peace Commission produced similar results, with 71% of youths declaring they consider the environment as important for the country, and 19% considering it very important. The study concluded that whilst environmental issues are of interest to all youths,  those with tertiary education show greater interest.

Meanwhile, whilst the EY result for last year showed that Covid is the third biggest challenge being faced by youths, this year only 20% expressed concern about the pandemic. The EY survey found that the young generation is more concerned about the pandemic’s impact on the economy than about their personal health. This figure confirms the entrepreneurial spirit which according to the survey, stands out among this generation, with 60% dreaming of eventually running their own business.

The EY survey concluded that the young generation believes also that it has more cash in hand when compared to last year, but just a few believe the economy is in an excellent state.

Asked to indicate which part of the world they would choose to live in, 60% mentioned European countries and 27% opted for Malta. According to the survey, this reflects the conclusions of a past survey, with the difference that this year has seen an increase of 12% among youths in the 24 to 40 age group who would prefer to live abroad.

The Curia survey, on the other hand, has shown that youths prefer to be active by voting and signing online petitions, rather than attending some political meeting or expressing their opinion on social media.