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What are the Biggest Threats To Our Children’s Futures?

Parents and carers have plenty to think (and worry) about! But what concerns them most in relation to the future of their children?

In September 2019, we polled 2,000 parents on a host of topics relating to their children and the future.

Amongst the questions we asked was this one:

Which of the following do you consider the biggest threat to your child’s future?

  • Brexit
  • Climate Change
  • Employment Market
  • The Rising Cost of Living
  • Other (Please Specify)

Here’s what they told us:

what do parents worry about?

 All ParentsJust DadsJust Mums
Climate Change23.30%24.30%22.30%
The Employment Market14.80%17.50%12.00%
Rising Cost of Living41.00%35.10%46.20%

Overwhelmingly, the rising cost of living was considered the biggest threat, with 41% of parents (skewed more to Mums than Dads when we look at the gender breakdown) choosing this option.

Climate change and Brexit came in second and third (very close together) while the employment market is the biggest concern for 14.6% of parents.

2.1% (or 42 respondents) chose to give other answers.


Political and economic uncertainty clearly plays heavy on the minds of worried parents.

1 in 5 consider Brexit the biggest threat to their child’s future, which is a similar figure to the number of parents who consider that to be climate change.

Climate change threatens humanity’s very existence, so this poses the question of why anyone would consider anything else a bigger threat. We can only guess, of course. But for many, we imagine Brexit and political uncertainty feels more imminent and closer to home than climate change (albeit that climate change is a very real and imminent threat for everyone).

Regional Variations

There are differences in answers across the country as well.

In terms of Brexit, the higher proportion of parents considering this the biggest fact were in Northern Ireland (28.6), followed closely by Scotland (26.20%).

Northern Ireland and Scotland both voted to remain in the EU in the 2016 referendum. For residents in both of these parts of the countries, Brexit brings with it added complications around the Union and around the border on the island of Ireland so it comes as little surprise that parents here would be amongst the most concerned in the country.

The rising cost of living is a particular concern for parents in Yorkshire, where not too far off half cited this as the biggest threat to their childrens’ future.

how big a threat is brexit

 Climate ChangeBrexitThe Employment MarketThe Rising Cost of LivingOther (Please Specify
South East26.8%14.8%10.5%44.7%3.1%
South West25.2%20.9%13.7%38.8%1.4%
West Midlands23.3%14.9%16.7%43.3%1.9%
North West21.3%18.7%16.2%41.3%2.6%
North East21.6%21.6%16.7%38.2%2.0%
East Midlands20.4%21.1%10.6%46.5%1.4%
East England24.2%15.4%13.4%45.6%1.3%
Northern Ireland23.9%28.3%15.2%32.6%0.0%
Wales 26.3%21.1%12.6%36.8%3.2%

What Other Answers Were Given?

We asked people to specify if they chose “other,” and 2% of respondents did. You can view all of the answers on the raw data sheet below. But answers included:

  • Crime
  • The Government
  • Terrorism

Raw Data and Methodology

The raw data, along with a list of the “other” answers specified by 42 respondents, is available at:

We obtained this data by polling 2,000 adults with children in the UK through 3Gem research. The data was completed on 5th September 2019.

We used 3Gem research because data accuracy is everything. So by commissioning the study through a market research company, we were able to ensure a diverse panel of parents from all parts of the country and ensure questions were not asked in a leading manner.

Make up of panel is available on the raw data spreadsheet.

Featured image available for reuse under Creative Commons.

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