How children see the future

UNICEF/HQ99-0014/ MIA BRANDT
A girl stares out of a bus transporting refugees from a transit camp on the Macedonia-Kosovo border, FR Yugoslavia.

Forty-three per cent of children say they believe that life is better today than it was a decade ago, even more so in Central Asia (56%). But 26% believe it is worse, particularly in transition countries (34%) in the Western CIS (42%) and former Yugoslavia (39%), in comparison to Western Europe (11%). Children of lower socio-economic groups are more likely to be negative (28%).

  • Six in 10 children believe their life will be better than that of their parents.
  • Some (9%) are pessimistic about the future of their country, predicting more crime and violence, a worsening economic situation and government inability to solve problems.
  • Many children wish their country would be free of crime and violence (43%) and be peaceful (39%).
  • Seven in 10 children intend to continue living in their own countries when they grow up, but 23% of children in the transition countries want to emigrate, mainly to Western Europe or North America.
  • Only about half of the children from former Yugoslavia, South-eastern Europe and the Baltic States want to continue living in their own country as adults.

Click below to view the responses to the questions related to this issue:

• Is life better than it was?…(by detailed region) [view]
• Is life better than it was?
(by gender, age, area, EU accession or socio-economic group)

• Will my life in the future be better?…(by detailed region) [view]
• Will my life in the future be better?
(by gender, age, area, EU accession or socio-economic group)

• Where do I want to live when I grow up?…(by detailed region) [view]
• Where do I want to live when I grow up?
(by gender, age, area, EU accession or socio-economic group)

• Will things be better in my country?…(by detailed region) [view]
• How would I like my country to be?…(by region) [view]

This information is provided as a contribution to discussion on important issues affecting children. UNICEF Regional offices conducted the polls, analysis and interpretations of the findings. For more information, please contact the regional poll contact person directly.

About the survey
How happy children are
How children feel at home
How children feel at school
How children feel in today's society
How safe children feel
Children and harmful or illegal substances
How informed children are
Children's views on government and politics
How children see the future