Fifth of young people unable to keep warm at home this winter, survey suggests
More than a fifth of young people were unable to keep comfortably warm in their home this winter, a survey has suggested.
Some 22% of people aged 16 to 29 years old persistently reported this to be the case, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) research.
The Winter Survey tracked respondents to estimate how increases in the cost of living and difficulty accessing NHS services had impacted their lives between November and February.
Around one in five (20%) of all adults surveyed said they were occasionally, hardly ever, or never able to keep comfortably warm in their home in the past two weeks – the period of February 15 to 26.
Of this, 13% persistently reported this over the whole winter period, whereas 7% who reported it in the latest period had previously reported being able to keep warm in the previous period of November 22 to January 8.
The ONS said energy insecurity is the inability of a household to meet its basic energy needs, such as heating the home.
It added that the slightly larger proportion of adults (9%) who reported being unable to keep comfortably warm in the previous period compared to the latest period could reflect the fact the weather had become relatively warmer.
The ONS findings suggested people experiencing moderate-to-severe depressive symptoms, those living in the most deprived areas in England, people aged 16 to 29 years old, and disabled people were significantly more likely than average to report being occasionally, hardly ever or never able to keep comfortably warm in their home.
The survey also suggested around 1 in 20 adults (5%) reported that they had run out of food and had not been able to afford to buy more in the February period.
Of this, 3% persistently reported it over the winter period, and 2% reported it in the latest period only.
On accessing NHS services, the survey found that around one in five adults (21%) reported that they were waiting for a hospital appointment, test or to start receiving medical treatment through the NHS.
Of this, 14% persistently reported this over the winter period, while 7% reported it in the most recent period only.
The ONS sampled 5,630 individuals who took part in the Winter Survey between November and January, and had an 80% response rate (4,494 people).