Most people think that their generation is better than the previous and than the next one. “When I was young, I wouldn’t dream of doing what today’s youth does” is a phrase that a lot of people say time and time again.
Some complain that young people today have no respect, that they are too much preoccupied with social media, phones and video games.
Most forget that all things were not perfect when they were growing up. As for the question of who did it better, we just have to take a look at the state we have left the world: hunger, poverty, a huge environmental crisis. There is indeed room for a positive change and today’s youth shows the way.
Surveys show that there are some positive trends in today’s youth. Statistics in the US show that teenagers care about important things and are more careful with risking their well-being.
The kids are alright and they are indeed the future.
Let’s take a look at some of the positive trends in today’s teens.
More teens than ever like to volunteer. According to the nonprofit research center Child Trend, 37 percent of teenagers in twelfth-grade are volunteering at least once per month. The percentage was 24% in 1991. Studies show that teens who volunteer are more likely to have more fulfilling lives and positive academic career.
There are a lot who claim that today’s teens are apolitical and maybe that is true to some extent. But there is one cause that they deeply care about and that is protecting the environment.
Fifteen-year-old Greta from Sweden is fighting for this cause. Hundreds of young people follow her example, taking the street and asking for action in order to fight climate change.
It seems that today’s youth thinks that smoking is a thing of the past. According to statistics, cigarette smoking among high school students is at the lowest level in more than two decades. Statistics showed that just 10.8 percent of teens today smoke cigarettes. Twenty years ago that percentage was 34.8.
Today’s teens seem more mature than the previous generation. They know that it is stupid to drink and drive. A survey by Youth Risk Behavior revealed that the percentage of students who admitted they got drunk and got behind the wheel was cut in half in 2001 compared to 1991.
The rate of students who consume alcohol has also fallen. In1995, 80.4% of teenagers admitted they have tried alcohol. Today that number is 63.2 percent. Moreover, in the past two decades, the number of teens who binge drink (more than five drinks in one night) has fallen by a third.
In 1999 the number of teens that tried cocaine had spiked (9.5%). The percentage has fallen to 5.2 percent. Statistics show that recreational use of pain relievers has fallen. Marijuana use remained stable, however.
In 1991 29% of teenagers had considered suicide. That number started falling and today 17.7 percent of young people have had that thought. Still, the number is higher than 13% of 2009.
Another positive trend is that fewer teens carry weapons to school. According to a survey, 11.8 percent of teenagers carried a weapon in school in 1993. In 2015 that number was down at 4.1 percent.
Sexual education is extremely important and can shape a teen’s future. Well, according to statistics unwanted teen pregnancy has declined in the past two decades from 61 to 26 births per thousand girls.
Research by the nonprofit Guttmacher Institute also showed that the rate of abortions among women under 20 has fallen in recent years. In 1991 more than 10 percent of kids under 13 had sex. In 2015 that number was just 3.9 percent.
It’s not just drinking and driving that youths of today are cautious about. Surveys have shown that they want to feel safer than their parents.
Teens today are less likely to fight at school. They are also more likely to wear a seat belt. Specifically, 93.9 percent of teenagers wear regularly a seatbelt, compared to 78.3 percent of teens in 1995.