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Teenage time bomb

January 2011

Why do newspapers portray Britain’s teenagers as an endangered species?

For several reasons, the UK experienced lower births in the early ‘noughties’ than in the 1980s and early 1990s.

This shrunken group of ‘noughties’ babies are now growing up to be teenagers – and as a result there will be around 10% less teenagers in the UK by 2017 than there are today!

What economic and social factors are responsible for this change in population structure? And what are some of the possible consequences, both positive and negative?


  • AS-level teaching of UK population changes
  • GCSE teaching of population changes
  • KS3 teaching of the importance of understanding population processes and how they interconnect with our economy and society (KS3 supplement available for downloading)

In the Members' Area:

  • Why are teenage numbers falling in the UK?
  • Class Activity
  • Will teenagers become extinct?
  • What impacts does this changing population structure bring?

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