News Article

Consumer Credit

18-year-olds four times more likely to be on Facebook than electoral roll

By CreditMan Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The latest generation of voters are far more likely to have registered for Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat than the electoral roll, according to Experian.

The number of people in the UK who will turn 18 this year on the electoral roll fell by 1.69 per cent compared to 2015, according to the latest local authority annual canvass. The drop in young electors contributed to an overall year-on-year decrease in the number of registered voters, which fell by 1.3 per cent to 45.6 million.

An estimated 1.17 million UK 18-year-olds have a Facebook account, nearly four times as many as the 307,000 who will be joining the electoral roll. YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter each have significantly more accounts with users of this age, compared to those registered to vote.

More than half (56.7 per cent) of local authorities have seen the number of coming of age voters fall this year, while two-thirds (67.6 per cent) have experienced a drop in electors overall.

Experian’s Jonathan Westley said: “People who haven’t registered to vote may not realise it’s not just a say on who runs their local council, or the country, that they’re missing out on. Lenders and other service providers use the electoral roll to help check your identity online so, for example, it could help you access a wide range of services, including applying for a passport. It can also be used to calculate your credit rating, potentially helping you access cheaper borrowing. Young people should view registering to vote as an easy way of establishing a credit history.”

Experian is encouraging more people to sign up to the electoral roll by supporting Bite The Ballot’s National Voter Registration Drive from 1st February. For more information, visit: