The state of the nation: Brits’ biggest hopes for next six months are health…and a holiday

  • Good health remains at the top spot of Direct Line’s Hope and Fears Index
  • Taking a holiday knocks wealth down to third place
  • Health problems, not being able to make ends meet and terrorism all make it into the top five fears

New research1 from Direct Line reveals that good health is the top hope for Britons in the next six months.

The Direct Line Hopes and Fears Index, which tracks the nation’s aspirations and concerns, found that good health (cited by 45 per cent of respondents) comes above hopes relating to money, weather, economic recovery and staying in employment over the next six months. The healthy living agenda is currently being publicised with people encouraged to assess their lifestyles, with multi-million pound advertising campaigns such as  Sport England‘s ‘This Girl Can’ initiative. 

It seems that we are already dreaming of our summer holiday as 44 per cent of respondents cite taking a holiday or short break as their second biggest hope. In fact, a desire for a sunny get away knocked an improved financial situation down to third place (40 per cent).

The nation’s greatest fear for the immediate future is their health (46 per cent) followed by not being able to make ends meet (25 per cent) - fears which have gone unchanged in the past three years. A fear of a terrorist attack (22 per cent) stays in fifth place and not having the preferred outcome of the General Election is now the nation’s seventh biggest concern (18 per cent).

Despite commentators suggesting that people are becoming disillusioned with politics, the index shows that this is not necessarily the case, with the outcome of May’s General Election featuring in both top 10 tables, above economic recovery, keeping the same job and getting into further debt.

What are your main hopes for the next six months? What are your main fears for the next six months?
1. Good/improved health for me & family 45% 1. Health problems for me or family members 46%
2. Taking a holiday/short break 44% 2. Not being able to make ends meet 25%
3. My financial situation improving 40% 3. My standard of living dropping 23%
4. Good weather 39% 4. Inflation/price rises 22%
5. Losing weight 36% 5. Terrorist Attack 22%
6. Happiness & success for my children/ To win the lottery 34% 6. Impact of Government cuts in public spending 22%
7. Having the outcome I prefer in the General Election 24% 7. Not having the outcome I prefer in the General Election 18%
8. Economic recovery 22% 8. Bad weather 18%
9. Keeping my present job 13% 9. Car problems e.g. needing repairs/failing MOT  16%
10. To move house 13% 10. Getting into (further) debt/ not being able to lose weight 16%

Source: Direct Line, 2015

Christine Webber, Harley Street psychotherapist and health writer, commented: “Health and financial matters have dominated the tables for the past three years. However, after the recent cold spell, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the desire for a sunny break has overtaken the nation’s hopes for an improved financial situation.”

“Interestingly, the index shows that we’re not as disillusioned with politics as some commentators suggest, with the outcome of the General Election being one of the nation’s biggest hopes and concerns over the next six months. Employment problems for family/friends have also moved down the list, and still out of the top 10 list of fears, which might reflect optimism that the job market will remain buoyant throughout 2015.”

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Notes to editors:

1Opinium Research conducted an online survey from the 6th to 9th February, amongst 2,003 UK adults aged 18+. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

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