Values by age (UK population)

I’m posting some data from Pat Dade at CDSM ( showing values distributions by age group for the UK population. age groups values distribution uk pop

All age groups have people in all Maslow Groups (Settler, Prospector, pioneer).  But you will see that broadly speaking, younger age groups are most skewed to Settler/Prospector (15 – 17), 18 – 21 year olds are more skewed to the Prospector/Pioneer groups, and after that ‘age’ as a correlate/ predictor begins to break down.  However you can see that 22 – 35 year olds are strongly skewed to Prospector  – which illustrates the importance of being able to deal with this influential demographic (young families, working age etc) in Prospector (Outer Directed) terms.

You can also see that 45 and above there is a larger skew to Pioneer.  This is reflected in the age distribution of many ‘ethical’ NGOs.

There are multiple dynamics underlying these distributions, as you are looking at cohort effects (and so far as I know, nobody has large data set longitudinal cohort studies).  For example some of the old Settlers (over 55) are the tail end of a segment that used to be much bigger.  In the past the older UK population was predominantly Settler – now it is dominated by Pioneers and Settlers because social conditions have changed, enabling more people to make the transition through life Settler> Prospector> Pioneer.

This dynamic is illustrated by the younger age groups and the reasons for it are hinted at in these maps that show the difference between students and non-students in the 18 – 21 group.  18-21 values distributions students and non students uk pop

The non students are more skewed to Prospector, the students more to Pioneer.  The very different experiences of these groups in terms of being told/ feeling they are a ‘success’ (beacuse of immersion in the school and university system) may explain this difference.

This in turn suggests that the pronounced differences between Prospectors and Pioneers that these groups (non-student/ student) exhibit are not something they were born with but something they have acquired through life experiences.



This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Values by age (UK population)

  1. Penny Walker says:

    Fascinating stuff.

    Another possible explanation is that pre-existing values influence whether or not people become students.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Penny. I suppose that is possible but it seems to me unlikely to be the whole story because the younger age group does not show that values pattern. Ie going into the age where they do or don’t get the grades to become students, the difference is not apparent. But the data is really not fine grained enough to be at all certain. Looked at the other way though, it is what you’d expect – a big experience for a young person is how they are judged by others at the end of their school career. If being told you are a success, and experiencing a series of reinforcing contexts and rewards follows and if that makes people feel they have the esteem of others, then that exactly matches the values shift seen in the survey result.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *