What’s important to teens and young adults in Chile – and how are they responding to changes in the world over the last 5 years?

Our recent project The Next Normal: Rise of Resilience spanned 28,600 people aged 6 to 54 across 32 countries, including Chile. Here are key findings from an analysis of Chileans aged 12 to 24:

They worry about war, bullying and the environment. When it comes to the state of the world today, 45% of Chilean teens and young adults (aged 12 to 24) say they feel less safe than 5 years ago. They’re most concerned about wars around the world (85%), bullying (80%), and the environment (76%). They’re more likely than their global peers to feel pessimism about the environment, government leadership, bullying, and crime/violence.

But they’re actually much more content than stressed! Most Chilean teens and young adults (87%) describe themselves as happy – considerably higher than the global average of 67%. In contrast, just 22% of Chilean youth say they’re stressed out.

To relax, they turn to entertainment. When Chilean youth want to unwind, 3 of their top 5 behaviors involve entertainment: listening to music (#1), video games (#3) and watching TV (#5). Other favorite ways to decompress are connecting with family and friends (#2) and catching up on sleep (#4).

Quality time and fulfillment are their main measures of happiness and success. The top sources of happiness for Chilean youth are time with family, followed by time with friends, time for fun and relaxation, and going away on vacation. They define success by feeling happy, being part of a loving family, and having an enjoyable job.

Online and off, they have tighter social circles than their global peers. Chilean youth have an average of 591 social media connections, compared with 620 connections among global people aged 12 to 24. They have far fewer online “friends” that they’ve never personally met (25 Chile vs. 77 global).  Their real-life social circles are smaller too, averaging 3.6 best friends (vs. 4.3 globally).

They’re especially strong proponents of LGBT rights. Almost all Chilean teens and young adults believe that people should be treated with respect regardless of race, gender, religion, political views, or sexual orientation (92% Chile vs. 89% global). In particular, they stand out for their strong support of same-sex marriage (80% vs. 68%). They’re also more likely to believe that transgender people should have the same rights as everyone else (81% vs. 71%).

They’re community-minded, curious about the world, and want to do good. Chilean youth are even more likely than their global peers to say it’s important to them to help people in the community (84% Chile vs. 81% global). The majority describe themselves as curious about the world (92% vs. 89%). They’re firm believers that all should have the right to stand up for their beliefs (93% vs. 91%) and that their age group has the potential to change the world for the better (83% vs. 80%).