18-year-olds twice as likely to be on Instagram as they are to be on electoral roll

21 Feb 2018 The number of UK 18-year-olds who have a profile on Instagram is more than double those who are ready to vote for the first time, new statistics have revealed.

The number of people turning 18 who are registered to vote has fallen by 6.09% year-on-year. Just 374,515 youngsters joined the list for 2017, down from 391,978 the previous year.

The statistics from the annual canvass come as politicians continue to debate whether the right to vote should be extended to 16- and 17-year-olds.

Experian’s Head of Consumer Affairs James Jones said: “For many young people, getting onto the electoral roll may not seem like a priority but they may not realise that by not registering they stand to miss out on much more than their voting rights. A wide range of organisations including banks and lenders use the electoral roll to help verify a customer’s identity and, in some cases, creditworthiness. As a result, failure to register to vote can make it harder for people to access lots of services including competitive rates on loans, credit cards and mortgages. Young people should view registering to vote as a first step to establishing their credit history, which is a key part of the information lenders use to grant credit responsibly.”

Figures for registered voters overall are more encouraging, topping 47 million for the first time. The 47,161,118 registered voters represent a 0.69% rise on the previous annual canvass.

Reasons to sign up for the electoral roll include:

  • Vote in elections
  • Prove your identity online
  • Get better rates on credit cards, loans and mortgages
  • Lower insurance premiums
  • Strengthen your credit score
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