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What do young people think about geography?

In many respects geography in schools is enjoying a renaissance. Since 2010 GCSE entries have risen year-on-year from 180,000 entries to 285,000 in 2021, and there is now much greater diversity in those who study GCSE geography, as measured by ethnicity and family income.

However, there is lower uptake of geography at A Level by students from lower socio-economic backgrounds and minority ethnic groups. The narrowing of the subject’s intake continues into university. We wanted to know more about these trends, so commissioned Censuswide to undertake independent research with 500 young people. This report summarises their findings on the views of young people about geography.


The survey

Censuswide surveyed 500 respondents in March and April 2021. All respondents were living in England, 16-21 years old, and in education (studying GCSE or equivalent, A Levels or equivalent, or at university). To ensure a good response rate from those historically under-represented in the discipline of geography, Censuswide ensured there was a minimum of 250 respondents who were from Black, Asian, or other minority ethnic groups, a minimum of 100 white respondents, and a minimum of 100 respondents from lower socio-economic backgrounds. 268 of the respondents were studying geography (at either GCSE, A Level or at university) during the research period; 232 were not.

Read the report

Read our other reports about geography in schools