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No generational conflict: Young and old are primarily looking for security.

Client

R+V-Versicherung

Year

2022


Our mission

Germany is experiencing a turning point. The war in Ukraine, the climate crisis, globalisation, and a forced digitalisation are challenging our economic and social order. But how do people see the situation? For its 100-year anniversary, R+V-Versicherung wanted to find out the answer to this question and commissioned Prognos to carry out a generation study.

For this purpose, in the spring of 2022, two pivotal generations were interviewed:

  • Generation Z – today's young people between the ages of 13 and 26, who will be at the peak of their working lives in 2040.
  • The baby boomer generation, between 52 and 66 years old, who characterise today's Federal Republic. Almost a quarter of all Germans belong to this generation.

Our approach

The generational study is based on two surveys of Generation Z and baby boomers in Germany: one scenario survey with around 200 participants, and a generational survey with around 2,000 participants.

Prognos implemented the scenario survey in January 2022. The generational survey was carried out by Kantar Public. The focus was on the general view of the future and key future topics such as environmental and climate protection, working hours, and education. Selected survey results were used to design future scenarios using our macroeconomic models.

Kantar Public conducted the survey online in March and April 2022. A representative sample of generations was drawn from a pool of willing-to-participate households. The survey focused on future trends and values. Questions from the Shell Jugendstudien (Shell Youth Studies) were also integrated, allowing a comparison with previous results.

Core results

First outstanding result: The intergenerational conflict, lamented by many, does not exist at all.

On the central question of which social issues are the most important, baby boomers and Generation Z were surprisingly united. Their priorities:

  • Pension provision
  • Securing the health system and care
  • The fight against climate change

This shows: It is possible to shape the future together.

 

There is also a great deal of agreement on the question of values. Both generations value:

  • “A partner you can trust”
  • Friends and family follow, in second place
  • Third is the pursuit of security

However, there are some differences that have conflict potential:

  • How the self-image and public image of the generations differs. It seems strongly influenced by media-mediated clichés. Both generations assume the other generation to be selfish.
  • Both generations demand that politics should do more for their interests. However, among those baby boomers with a higher level of education, many also believe that the state should prioritise the young over the old.

Another key result is a loss of confidence in the future. More than two-thirds of young people see the future of society as rather gloomy, even more so than the already negative attitude of baby boomers (63 percent). A comparison with the Shell Jugendstudien shows that this is a negative record. In 2019, “confidence” among young people was still at more than 50 percent.

Links and downloads

Further information on the study (ruv.de, in German)

Read the study directly as WebMag:


Project team: Dr Oliver Ehrentraut, Klaudia Lehmann, Jonathan-Aton Talamo, Christoph Keller, Laura Sulzer, Dr Stefan Moog, Jan Limbers, Miriam Lovis

 

Latest update: 15.09.2022

Do you have questions?

Your contact at Prognos

Klaudia Lehmann

Senior Project Manager

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Dr Oliver Ehrentraut

Partner, Director, Head of Economics Division

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Prognos is one of the oldest economic research centres in Europe. Founded at the University of Basel, Prognos experts have been conducting research for a wide range of clients from the public and private sectors since 1959 – politically independent, scientifically sound.

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