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Three out of four PHL youth believe life will improve in next 5 years — survey

Young men and women attend their graduation ceremony in Pasay City. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ EDD GUMBAN

Three-fourths of Filipino youth aged 15 to 30 are optimistic that their quality of life will improve over the next five years despite the pandemic, according to a national survey conducted in 2021 by Youth Leadership for Democracy (YouthLed) and Social Weather Stations (SWS). 

“The survey was conducted to help us as an organization and as a program unpack what the current perspectives of youth in the country are,” said Sam Chittick, country representative of the Asia Foundation, in a press conference that presented the survey results on Friday. 

YouthLed, which aims to increase civic engagement, is a project of the Asia Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The net optimism score of +72 in the State of the Filipino Youth 2021 survey is a significant increase from the +46 tallied in April 1996, the last time the SWS was tasked to do a comparable large-scale poll by the National Youth Commission (NYC). 

The net optimism score is computed by subtracting those who responded negatively from the number of those who responded positively.

This year’s respondents included 4,900 Filipino youths, ages 15 to 30 years old, with 81% belonging to Class D. 

The coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown was the “most important issue they [respondents] had in mind” when answering the survey, said SWS vice president and chief operating officer Gerardo Sandoval.

Despite the pandemic, survey results reflected a positive outlook on health, with 66% of respondents describing their health as “good,” an improvement over the 51% in 1996.


Almost all, or 99% of respondents, use traditional media, with three out of four young Filipinos watching the news on television at least once a week. More respondents find traditional media “very reliable and factual” (20%) than social media (7%). 

Traditional mass media (20%) came in second only to the home (24%) as the top influence in finding references on the responsibilities of a Filipino citizen. High school at 17% and social media at 15% rounded out the list.

Majority of the respondents see their family as a guide to their stance on political issues (59%) and their support for government policies and activities (57%).

The survey was conducted March 14 to March 29, 2021, during general community quarantine (GCQ), and was released this February. 

The survey had an error margin of +/-1.4% at 95% confidence level for national percentages. — Aaron Michael C. Sy

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