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Teens worried about the economy in an independent Scotland - survey
May 18, 2014 / 11:17 PM / 4 years ago

Teens worried about the economy in an independent Scotland - survey

LONDON (Reuters) - The majority of newly enfranchised Scots teenagers preparing to vote in September’s referendum on independence are worried about the outlook for Scotland’s economy if the nation votes to secede, according to a survey on Monday.

England and Scotland stickers are seen as shoppers queue in a sweet shop in Berwick Upon Tweed in Northumberland August 20, 2013. REUTERS/Toby Melville

The online survey of 1,042 teens aged between 15 and 17 showed 64 percent of them to be worried, against only 17 percent who were not concerned.

The survey, for the Glasgow-based Carrington Dean financial services group, also showed teenagers were anxious over the financial outlook for themselves and their families in an independent Scotland.

Forty-one percent thought their parents’ generation would be worse off while 39 percent thought their own generation would be worse off.

Only 21 percent thought their parents would be better off while one-in-four thought they would be better off themselves.

Of the survey respondents, 90 percent were school pupils or college students, with just five percent in full-time employment and the remainder unemployed.

“They are reaching maturity at a time when many families are struggling with debt and the problems it causes for families,” said Carrington Dean Managing Director Peter Dean in a statement. “It will be interesting to see how these financial concerns play out when they enter the polling booths in September.”

All Scottish residents aged 16 and over can vote on Sept. 18 on whether Scotland should end its 307-year-old union with England and leave the United Kingdom. If a majority vote in favour, Scotland will become independent on March 24, 2016.

More than 98,000 Scots aged 16 or 17 have already registered to vote, according to the National Records of Scotland - around 80 percent of those in that age group who are eligible to vote.

They account for around three percent of the total four million Scots eligible to cast their ballot in the referendum but relatively few polls have been carried out among younger voters.

Last May, a survey of 1,000 young Scots aged 14 to 17 conducted by Edinburgh University found 60 percent opposed independence with only 21 percent in favour of it.

Earlier this year, a poll of 1,500 older students at Glasgow Caledonian University found 63 percent wanted to stay in the United Kingdom.

Overall, polls show Scots remain doubtful about separation, although the proportion of those supporting independence has increased over the past year. Many are still undecided.

The voting age for UK elections is 18. Only a few countries allow 16-year-olds to vote.

Reporting by Stephen Addison; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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