Britain 1980’s – New People

A new class emerged in Great Britain – the New People, discovered and defined by Taylor Nelson; a global market research and market information group who provided the data to the National Economic Development Office.

The British people could be divided into three distinct socio-economic groups.

Group One – agricultural era, motivated by security and clinging to an existing lifestyle.

Group Two – industrial era, motivated by esteem and status, or materialists

Group Three – post-industrial, don’t care about what the rest of the world thinks about them – they are the New People.

In summary. New People have broad horizons, care more for the excitements of discovery than the money made and become millionaires almost by accident. A Group One person might decide to eat less because food prices have risen; a Group two person might do to still be able to fit the corporate suit. The New People do so to feel better.

Britain was quite far ahead on this road to being a nation of New People. – 36% were already, only closely behind Holland (47%) and Denmark (36%).

Taylor Nelson forecast that 55% of the UK population will be New People by 2010.

They also made forecasts about the state of Great Britain should the New People dominate by 2010. It is not difficult to assess how accurate they were. A sample:

Economic growth will not be the priority, quality of life will.

Central Government will shrink to a framework.

Workers may reject promotion for enjoyment and more will work from home.

Increased leisure will  be used for experience and no one will join a golf club to meet the ‘right’ people.

TV will be more localised; soaps will shrink as will dominance of the tabloids.

Technology will bring rewards in the hardware and distribution but not in the software.

From which it will appear that forecasting future trends is not an exact science but there are others who have tried to bring some order to futurology.