Most Britons think life was better in 1990s and 2000s than now, poll shows

Stars of Coronation Street in 2000 (ITV / PUBLICITY PICTURE)
Stars of Coronation Street in 2000 (ITV / PUBLICITY PICTURE)

Almost two thirds of Britons think the 1990s and 2000s were a better time to be alive than the present day, according to a new poll.

YouGov spoke to 2,087 adults to ask them to compare previous decades to now, and 60 per cent said the 2000s were better with 57 per cent saying the same thing of the 1990s.

Almost half (45 per cent) said the 1980s were also better.

The polling firm said the latest responses were significantly different from when it last asked the question five years ago.

The numbers thinking the 2000s were better had gone up by 25 per cent since 2019 with a 16 per cent increase in approval for the 1990s over the same period.

The results also show a gender divide, with men more likely than women to say things are better now than they were in the past.

They also found a majority who view the future with pessimism – 56 per cent of respondents think life for people in 2050 will be worse than it is now, while 17 per cent think it will be better and 12 per cent think it will be about the same.

Although the firm did not go into reasoning behind people’s answers, it is possible the fall in living standards and war in Ukraine and the Middle East has made people look more fondly on previous decades.

The end of last year saw the publication of a major report warning UK living standards are falling behind comparable rich nations.

The study by the Resolution Foundation and the London School of Economics’ Centre for Economic Performance said a living standards gap worth £8,3000 has opened up between the average household in Britain and their peers in countries like Australia, Canada, France and Germany.