Girls' happiness hits an all-time low

Girlguiding’s Girls’ Attitudes Survey reveals girls’ happiness levels have significantly declined over the past 15 years.

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Girls’ happiness levels have reached an all-time low according to Girlguiding. The charity’s 15th annual Girls’ Attitudes Survey, supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, reveals a steady decline in girls’ happiness year on year and an increase in stress and anxiety since 2009.

For 15 years, Girlguiding has released its annual Girls’ Attitudes Survey documenting how girls feel about their everyday lives, the pressures they face and the issues they care about.  This year’s findings reveal there are areas in girls’ lives that are worse than when the survey began in 2009, and they’re less happy.

The number of girls who describe themselves as very happy has decreased significantly (40% in 2009 down to 17% in 2023), with the steepest decline in girls aged 7-10 (57% in 2009 compared to 28% in 2023).

The survey also revealed that 89% of girls aged 7-21 feel worried or anxious, compared to 78% in 2016, with girls’ worries ranging from appearance pressures, online harms to being sexually harassed.