KARACHI (PR) — Young Pakistanis are disillusioned by their country’s leadership, disheartened by the economic outlook and desperate for a radical change, according to a recent in-depth survey on the outlook and attitudes of Pakistan youth conducted by JWT Pakistan.

Anxiety levels among this demographic is high. JWT’s survey shows nine in 10 young Pakistanis are anxious about events in their lives and the world around them, and the majority of respondents think the economy, job security, housing costs, the threat of terrorism and the crime rate in their community is going to get worse over the next six months.  Nearly 70% have no idea when the economy will improve, or think it will never improve, and 54% would rather live in another country. Youth also feel that current political system is not working properly, and 92% feel that ‘revolutionary change’ is needed to improve the country’s political situation - although most youth want this to happen peacefully, at the ballot box.  

Pakistani youth are striving to balance religion and culture with a desire to progress and keep pace with the rest of the world.  Youngsters show a liberal attitude towards a range of issues, from whether men and women can work and study together, to choosing their own spouses. They also feel they are more outspoken, and are more likely to voice their opinions on issues that matter to them, compared to their parent’s generation.

Young adults feel their sense of religious identity is stronger than the prior generation, although they are less likely to adhere to specific religious practices.  Religious identity is indeed much more important for today’s Pakistani youth than national identity. 

“This survey offers unique insights into the hearts and minds of young Pakistanis - and some real surprises.  Pakistani youth are searching for their identity during an unsettling and uncertain time, and are taking paths that sometimes diverge from the one their parents chose,” says Noaman Asar, National Planning Director for JWT Pakistan.  “One thing is clear:  Pakistan is a very young country, and any individual or organization who wants to communicate with Pakistani youth needs to set assumptions aside and spend some time getting to know this fast-changing demographic.