Children of the 1950s ‘More Content Than Subsequent Generations’


Bryony Hannah, Jessica Raine and Helen George.

Thursday 23 August 2018

  • 1956 named best year in which to be born
  • Sixties and Seventies 'best decades to be a teenager', while the Sixties and Eighties are favourites for music
  • Survey commissioned by TV channel Drama to celebrate Call the Midwife, set in the late 50s, which is showing over the bank holiday weekend from Friday (25 August) from 1pm on Drama

The year 1956 has been voted the best year in which to be born - with children of the 1950s more content than any subsequent generations, according to new research.

The study of 2,000 British adults showed that a huge 42% of Brits believe 1956 was the best year to be born. Top reasons include peace time after World Wars, being born after the NHS was set up and the end of food rationing, according to the survey commissioned by UKTV's Drama channel, to celebrate period TV favourite Call the Midwife, showing all bank holiday weekend from Friday (25 August) at 1pm.

And a staggering 88% of those born in the 1950s admit their generation has been luckier than others, which is far more than those born in later decades - with best things about being born in the 1950s including job security (48%), space to play outside (47%) and the birth of rock 'n' roll (40%).

Babies born in 1956 were typically aged ten when England won the World Cup, 13 when man landed on the moon and are likely to have benefited from the property price boom and final salary pensions.

It also meant being a teenager in the 1960s and 1970s, which 58% of those surveyed consider the best decades to have been a teen - with the 1960s viewed as the best decade for music.

In fact, over a third (35%) of those quizzed named the 1960s as the best decade for music in the last 70 years, thanks to the likes of The Beatles, Tamla Motown and The Rolling Stones, followed by just under a quarter (23%) who named the 1980s, as identified by hits by Madonna, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston.

Third was the 1970s (16%), due to the invention of ground-breaking genres like Disco and Punk, fourth was the 90s (9%), the decade of Britpop and The Spice Girls, and fifth was the sounds of the 1950s (7%), made famous by Elvis Presley and the birth of rock 'n' roll.

Call the Midwife, which stars Miranda Hart and Jessica Raine, is set in a 1950s convent in Poplar, East London. Midwives and nuns work alongside each other, coping with the medical problems in an East End still reeling from the effects of the war.

The research also shows that Baby Boomers - those born from the 1940s to early 1960s - are recognised as the generation which has been most fortunate with money. They are seen as having benefited from rising house prices, low education costs, strong pension schemes and being able to take early retirement.

And an overwhelming 77% of those born in the 1950s do not believe their life could have been any better had they been born at any other time - while just 56% of those born in the 1960s and 1970s and 37% of those born in the 1980s would agree.

A quarter of those from the 1960s (22%) wish they'd been born in the '50s and 32% of 1970s babies would like to have been born 10 or 20 years sooner. Meanwhile, a third of those born in the 1980s (29%) are convinced their lives would have worked out more favourably had they been born at least 20 years earlier.

The list of advantages which make others envious is lengthy: key benefits of being born around 1956 are seen as 'being amazed by watching man land on the Moon' (45%), 'benefiting from early retirement and final salary pension schemes' (43%) and 'falling infant mortality rates' (35%).

Seeing England win the World Cup would also have been considered a bonus for 31%, 24% said 'benefiting from rising property prices' and 'getting to eat loads of sweets as a kid' was popular with 16%.

Of those born in the 1950s, a third (33%) acknowledge that they have been luckier than both those born before and after them. Meanwhile, an additional 37% admit they are luckier than those born in the 1940s and '30s while 18 per cent confess they pity the various trials and tribulations of younger people.

Emma Ayech, channel director for Drama, said:

The 1950s was a defining era for Britain, as the country finally shook off the years of post-war austerity and paved the way for the exciting new world of the Swinging Sixties, which arguably still resonates today. Call the Midwife is a much-loved show which gives fascinating insight into the late 50s and beyond, and when you explore the fascinating social history of the era it's no wonder Brits have a fondness for the decade.

Call the Midwife all bank holiday weekend from Friday (25 August) at 1pm on Drama.



For further information, please contact Tony Meenaghan, 023 8045 8800 / 07736 017 971

Notes To Editors:

Research commissioned by TV channel Drama/conducted by Mortar: 2,000 British adults surveyed, August 2018.

About Drama

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