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Thursday 27 Nov 2014

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Children concerned about credit crunch and crime, suggests new CBBC's Newsround survey

Any use of information from this release MUST be attributed to "CBBC's Newsround"

CBBC's Newsround today unveiled the findings of an exclusive survey commissioned to discover what life is like for children in 2009.

The survey, conducted by ChildWise on behalf of Newsround, interviewed 1,000 children in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales aged 6 to 12.

It explores the key elements of children's lives including family life, education, money, hopes and fears, the wider world and the future.

The survey follows on from similar research conducted in 2007.

The impact of the credit crunch and concerns about crime are prevailing outtakes from this year's survey, however children's sense of personal worth and wellbeing remain strong, and the majority describe themselves as happy.

It is part of CBBC Newsround's commitment to make key issues of the day relevant and easily understandable for kids.

Sinead Rocks, Editor, Newsround said: "Throughout its 37-year history, Newsround has always prided itself on its close relationship with its audience. This survey brings us even closer to understanding what it's like to be a child in the UK today - their worries, fears, hopes and aspirations."

Key CBBC Newsround children's lifestyle survy results


61% of children surveyed feel they have been affected by the credit crunch.

41% say that their parents worry about money, up from 30% in 2007.

15% say that their parents worry about their jobs, up from 9% in 2007.

More than a quarter (27%) know someone who has lost their job.

86% would be willing to give something up to help.


The survey suggests that children think the scariest place to be is in the dark, but one in five feel least safe in the streets, up from one in eight in 2007.

Children are most afraid of being bullied (15%) or getting stabbed or shot (12%).

One in four children are sometimes worried enough to avoid going out alone, and 15% would hide their valuables.

At its most extreme, 5% sometimes don't go to school because of their concerns, and 2% carry a weapon for protection.

62% are worried about crime, 27% terrorism, but both are down compared with 2007 (67%, 37%).


Children are spending more time with their parents with four in five spending at least three hours a day together compared with 69% in 2007.

The majority of children eat together as a family at least once a week (89%).

This year sees an increase in the number living with both mum and dad (68%, up from 65% in 2007) and also those with siblings (84%, up from 80% in 2007).

10% never eat together as a family, down from 13% in 2007.

87% would turn first to mum or dad.


Two in three agree on the importance of good exam results, but one in four think there's too much pressure to do well.

More than half are distracted by badly behaved children at school.

Issues such as broken furniture or buildings in disrepair are far less of a concern.

Bullying peaks for those aged 9 to 10, with one in three bullied at school.

One in 10 say that their teachers are sometimes attacked or bullied.

The internet

Almost all (94%) from age nine upwards use the internet at home.

By age 10, they know more about the internet than mum, but dad is not outclassed until they reach secondary school.

Almost one in four think strangers, paedophiles and cyber bullies are the main danger on the internet.

A quarter of children would rather play online than outside, but only a handful prefer online chat - unchanged from 2007.

Best thing about the internet are the games, finding out different kinds of information, and chatting to friends.


Most describe themselves as happy (79%), with just under half saying that they are funny, clever, or sensible.

This year more consider themselves to be sensible (41%, up from 37% in 2007) and confident (37%, up from 34% in 2007) – and also loud (35%, up from 31% in 2007), while fewer claim to be silly (21%, down from 25% in 2007).

4% have only negative perceptions of themselves.

Fewer boys want to become footballers (20%, down from 26% in 2007) and fewer girls want to be popstars (5%, down from 9% in 2007) and celebrities (6%, down from 7% in 2007).

Children disapprove of those who commit crimes, take drugs, or smoke – Amy Winehouse (3%), Britney Spears and Russell Brand (1% each) are singled out for disapproval.

Girls are least satisfied with the way they are, to a greater extent than in 2007, but most children like the way they are.

Most changes are cosmetic – changing their hair (10%), getting rid of their spots (4%). 5% say they want to be thinner.

One in five children speak a language other than English, mostly a language learnt at school. 4% speak a language other than English at home.

One in three children know a child with a disability, most often someone at their school.

Their world

Most think that their childhood is better than their parents' (75%).

They hope for better jobs and more money, plus better education, compared with their parents' generation.

The wider world

Crime (21%), the credit crunch (20%) and terrorism (20%) top the list of topics that they are fed up with hearing about, while others have heard more than enough about celebrities (12%).

Almost half think that Britain is a great place to live.

Two thirds of all children recognise Gordon Brown by name, half recognise George Bush and Barack Obama, while one in five recognise David Cameron by name, and only a handful know who he is.

Barack Obama has made a significant impact on these children – four in 10 know that he's the (new) US President, with many referring to the fact that he is the first black president.

If they were Prime Minister for a day, their priorities would be to cut the amount of time spent at school (11%); stop poverty (6%); crime, pollution, protect animals from cruelty (4% each); and tackle the recession in some way, creating more jobs, cutting prices (3% each).

The future

Younger children are most excited about birthdays, Christmas, and other special events.

Older children tend to look forward to getting a job, earning money, and learning to drive.

When they grow up, boys still want to be footballers (20%), but the Police (9%), Fire Service (5%), and Armed Forces (5%) are all more popular this year, while engineer (3%) and teacher (3%) also enter the top 10 for boys.

Girls want to be teachers (15%), hairdressers (13%), vets (10%), or nurses (8%). Fewer want to be popstars this year (5%, down from 9% in 2007), but the number of would-be artists and fashion designers has increased from 3% to 6%. New entry in tenth place for girls is to be a mum (2%).

Differences across the nations compared to the UK average


About themselves

  • Fewer live with Mum and Dad - 56% (68% all)
  • 36% live with Mum only (25% all)
  • 4% would turn to Dad for help (11% all)
  • Less likely to admire someone in their immediate family - 26% (38% all)
  • 29% speak another language (20% all).
  • More than a quarter of children in Wales speak Welsh

Parents & family

  • 60% spend more than five hours with their parents each day (44% all)
  • Parents are less concerned about money and children's behaviour - 26% and 9% (41% and 20% all)
  • They are less likely to argue about bedtime/getting up in the morning -17% (29% all)


  • 9% think that security is one of the main dangers associated with using the Internet eg hackers, people getting their details etc (19% all)

Their world

  • More likely to name somewhere they feel unsafe - 91% (77% all)
  • 12% feel most unsafe at the park and 5% feel unsafe at home (6% and 2% all)
  • Fewer believe their childhood is better than their parents - 59% (75% all)

The wider world

  • Fewer children in Wales are concerned about crime and the credit crunch - 49% and 28% (62% and 45% all)
  • Less willing to give up cinema trips, music and dance lessons and their mobile phone in order to help their families financial situation – 10%, 4% and 4% (29%, 15% and 15% all)
  • 10% spontaneously name litter as a big problem in this country (4% all)


About themselves

  • More describe themselves as happy and quiet - 90% and 35% (79% and 22% all)
  • 19% place importance on being beautiful or handsome (9% all)
  • They are less concerned about getting on well with family and being kind - 41% and 19% (57% and 34% all)
  • 1% admire their friends (6% all)
  • 13% feel that popstars and musicians set a bad example to children (5% all)
  • 6% speak a language other than English (20% all)

Parents & family

  • Parents are more worried about money and jobs - 55% and 29% (41% and 15% all)
  • More arguments about tidying bedrooms, what food they eat and what they do on the internet – 76%, 25% and 12% (49%, 15% and 4% all)
  • 14% wish they could spend more time doing things with their parents (36% all)


  • 7% are concerned about inadvertently giving their details away online (2% all)

Their world

  • 57% feel there is nothing for them to do where they live (32% all)
  • 4% are worried enough to consider hiding their valuables when they go out (15% all)
  • 81% expect their life as an adult to be better than their parents (75% all)
  • They are more afraid of falling out with friends and someone they know dying - 29% and 12% (9% and 11% all)

The wider world

  • 8% spontaneously name terrorism/bombings as a significant problem (2% all)
  • When prompted, they are most concerned about the credit crunch and terrorism - 64% and 48% (45% and 27% all)
  • 43% know someone who has lost their job recently (27% all)
  • They are most willing to give up their Christmas and birthday presents - 24% and 22% (12% and 11% all)
  • Fewer think that Britain is a great place to live - 19% (44% all)

The future

  • 9% are looking forward to leaving school (2% all)

Northern Ireland

About themselves

  • 93% live with brothers or sisters (84% all)
  • More describe themselves as clever - 53% (42% all)
  • Fewer describe themselves as shy - 35% (22% all)
  • 57% pray every day or most days (22% all)
  • 64% would turn to Mum for help (76% all)
  • More likely to turn to Dad or their teacher for help - 20% and 9% (11% and 5% all)

Parents & family

  • 70% eat together at least five times a week (52% all)


  • 1% prefer talking to their friends online rather than face to face (8% all)
  • Fewer think their Mum knows most about the internet - 8% (19% all)
  • 21% think that finding out information for schoolwork is the best thing about the internet (12% all)
  • 26% feel that it is probably okay to play 18-rated games once you are 15 (14% all)


  • 47% want to do well at school to keep their parents happy (34% all)
  • 63% feel some of the children at their school are really badly behaved, and make it hard for others to learn (54% all)

Their world

  • 37% would consider not going out alone, and 21% would consider reporting someone to the Police or a teacher (23% and 12% all)
  • Fewer name bullying as something they are most afraid of - 7% (15% all)
  • More likely to feel unsafe on the internet - 9% (2% all)

The wider world

  • Concerned about the credit crunch, money problems, animal cruelty and the environment when prompted with a list – 62%, 51%, 45% and 30% (45%, 39%, 31% and 19%)
  • If they were Prime Minister for a day, 12% would stop pollution and recycle more, and 7% would get rid of all the bad people (4% and 2% all)
  • More likely to think most people in the world are good - 45% (33% all)
  • 65% think most adults try to understand what children need (43% all)
  • 24% think most adults don't listen enough (43% all)
  • 56% think that Britain is a great place to live (44% all)

The future

  • More likely to be excited about getting a job and earning money in the future and learning how to drive - 24% and 13% (14% and 5% all)

Notes to Editors

The survey will feature on CBBC's Newsround throughout the week commencing Monday 20 April 2009 and on the CBBC iPlayer.

Newsround has been dedicated to bringing children the news for more than 37 years, making the important issues of the day relevant and easily understandable for kids.

Television's only daily current affairs programme specifically made for young people has recently been given a relaunch with a brand new look and two new presenters for a new generation of children.

Newsround continues to make one-off specials which cover difficult subjects, such as recent reports on bereavement, knife crime and divorce, in a sensitive and accessible way.

Presented by Ore Oduba and Sonali Shah live from BBC Television Centre in London, Newsround now has a news bureau in Manchester, bringing all the latest news from the nations and regions to uniquely deliver world-class journalism exclusively for children and young people across the UK.

As well as delivering up-to-the-minute news, Newsround's website also encourages children to share their own views and engage in debates by joining chats on the message boards, voting on the issues that matter to them, pitting their wits in a choice of quizzes, and watching the amazing press pack reports made by other Newsround viewers.

About ChildWise

ChildWise is an independent market research agency specialising in research with children for over 20 years. The company carries out surveys for a wide range of organisations, including government, charities, and commercial companies.

Their work is governed by the Market Research Society Code of Conduct, and conforms to strict standards when working with children.

The research method

  • 1,000 face-to-face in home interviews
  • Boys and girls aged 6 to 12 years
  • England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
  • Robust sample sizes for all key subgroups
  • Fieldwork 7-21 January 2009
  • Previous wave was Autumn 2007


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