Rotary State of the Nation report reveals Northern Ireland’s biggest worries

| March 16, 2018
Six in ten across Northern Ireland believe their standard of living is worse than that of their parents’ generation according to Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland’s ‘State of the Nation’ report.

The report has examined the social and community issues affecting locals in Northern Ireland along with a barometer on how people feel life compares now with previous generations.

The State of the Nation report found the biggest issues that residents across Northern Ireland worry about included mental health (60%), experiencing poverty (57%), health issues (54%) and a lack of opportunities for young people (51%).

It also found that almost two thirds of locals felt lonely, an issue normally associated with older people but, in fact, the highest percentage of people affected were aged between 16 – 29 followed by those aged 30 – 44.

The State of the Nation report also found that today’s generation doesn’t have the same sense of community spirit, with nearly half of respondents (47%) claiming they don’t even know their neighbour’s name.

Rotary clubs across Northern Ireland have been working to help tackle some of these big social issues with initiatives including youth employment projects, creating food banks, providing mental health support in communities, helping to tackle crime, or even just being there for someone to talk to when they’re lonely.

The situation has deteriorated so much in recent times that a further 200 extra Rotary clubs across the country have been set up in the past year to help tackle the challenges facing society.

Amanda Watkin, general secretary for Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, commented: “We’re often faced with stories of people suffering hardship at a nationwide level and our local issues may sometimes feel overlooked. That is why we’re dedicated to focusing on projects within our local community to help improve the quality of life for those nearby and identify key areas where we can really make a difference.”

The report also found that two thirds of people believe their standard of living is worse than that of their parents’ generation and the report also revealed that nearly all of us feel bogged down by the stresses and strains of modern day life (92%), while we think it’s now harder than ever to manage our finances (42%), get on the property ladder (40%) or maintain a ‘job for life’ (40%).

For more information about Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, or to join your local club visit

Additional Information 

  • Almost half (45%) said people looked out for each other more years ago
  • 42% even think their folks were in better shape when they were younger
  • A further 32 per cent said their work/life balance was poor, while 34 per cent said the burden to have it all made them feel under pressure.
  • A staggering number of us wish we were living in a simpler time (84%) where everyone was less materialistic, with most Brits saying the 80s was the best decade to live in.

Many people believe their parents’ life was better because

  • Didn’t have pressures of social media
  • People looked out for each other more
  • Finances were in better shape
  • Real sense of community spirit
  • Owned their own home

People see the past having

  • Greater community spirit
  • No social media
  • People knew their neighbours
  • Stronger morals
  • Took time to pass the time of day
  • People were more caring

About Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland

Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland is a volunteer organisation where members use their skills and their time to improve the lives of others while having great fun in the process. There are nearly 1,740 Rotary clubs across Great Britain and Ireland and 51,000 members. Rotary is open to anyone aged 18 and upwards. All that is required is a positive attitude and a sense of adventure. Rotary International was founded in 1905 in Chicago and is now the world’s largest international service organisation with 1.2 million professional men and women as members. There are 33,000 clubs in 200 countries and geographical areas. To find out more, visit



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