Generali future study: people are optimistic about their personal future, but critical of societal trends

Mar 22, 2023.

Three quarters of people in Germany, Austria and Switzerland are satisfied with their current living situation. But they are worried about war and inflation. Health and safety have become more important. Sustainability and self-care will become more important in future.

Munich/Vienna/Adliswil – The first Generali future study in the DACH region provides fascinating insights into the current living situations, worries and future prospects of people in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. For this study, surveyed 3,000 people in the DACH countries aged between 14 and 75. Three quarters of respondents are satisfied with their current living situation, and 65 percent are optimistic about the next five to ten years. However, they take a less positive view of the future of society. War and inflation are the primary worries. Sustainability and self-care are considered to be the main future issues.


Satisfaction and optimism with personal living situation

Three quarters of respondents (74%) are satisfied with their current living situation. Married people (81%) and men (76%) are more likely to agree with this statement than single people (66%) and women (72%). There are also differences within the DACH region: satisfaction is significantly higher in Austria (77%) and Switzerland (76%) than in Germany (69%). 65 percent of people are optimistic about the future – the Swiss (72%) are much more hopeful than Austrians (62%) and Germans (61%). The youngest age group (14- to 29-year-olds) is much more hopeful than all other age groups, at 79 percent – this figure is just 45 percent for 60- to 69-year-olds. 35 percent of respondents view their personal future with little or no optimism.


The Generali future study also asked people how optimistic they are about coping with future challenges. Optimism is primarily derived from trust in ourselves and our own abilities (85%), followed by our family (84%) and wider circle such as friends and acquaintances (81%). Workplace and/or professional qualifications (67%) and financial security (57%) are in fourth and fifth place. Of particular interest is an analysis of this result based on gender: when it comes to self-confidence, education and financial security, the figures for male respondents are much higher than those for women.


Critical view of the future of society 

The majority (56%) of people in the DACH region have a negative view of societal trends in the next five to ten years. This result is mainly due to the perception of Austrians (63%) and Germans (60%). 55 percent of Swiss respondents have a positive view of societal trends. Young respondents under the age of 30 also share this optimism, with 57 percent, while all other age groups have a much more negative attitude.


Health is the most important factor for a happy future: good physical fitness is in first place with 60 percent, ahead of good mental health with 40 percent – which is particularly important to women. A pristine environment and a stable country are in third and fourth place, with 32 percent each. Here too, there are considerable differences between the individual countries: while the importance of mental health is much higher in Switzerland, with 46 percent, than in Austria (38%) and Germany (35%), a stable, secure country is more important to Austrians, with 37 percent, than to Germans with 32 percent and the Swiss with 26 percent.


People are most worried about war and inflation

The biggest future worries of people in the DACH region are war (63%), high prices (62.5%), inflation and/or currency devaluation (54%), climate change (46%) and rising energy costs (45%). This ranking varies for the individual countries. 


66% war 69% high prices 59% war
61% inflation 65% war 58% high prices 
61% high prices 61% inflation 48% climate change
48% rising energy costs  55% corruption 42% environmental pollution
44% climate change 53% rising energy costs  39% inflation

Relationships and nature are the biggest sources of happiness

People gain the most strength from their personal surroundings, mainly from their family (69%) and friends (51%). Nature (44%), health (41%), travel (35%), pets (32%) and exercise or sports (31%) also make them happy. Women value social aspects such as family and friends more than men. Leisure activities (music, culture, etc.) are more important for the under 30s than for other age groups.

When asked what has recently become more important to them personally, respondents mention health (57%), safety/peace (50%), financial security (41%), quality of life and/or work-life balance (40%), environmental and climate protection (37%) and sustainability (35%). There are significant deviations from the youngest age group, for whom social interaction, exercise/sport, hobbies/leisure activities, equality/tolerance and education have become more important compared to all other age groups.


Saving energy and food

Following the sharp rise in the cost of living, the Generali future study also asked if people had already made or could imagine making potential savings. The top three measures for people in the DACH region are: saving electricity (54%), reducing heating costs (46%) and buying cheaper food (43%). Women and people aged between 50 and 75 consistently aim to economise more than men and the younger generation. In addition, people in Germany and Austria save more than those in Switzerland. Saving energy and water is a major issue, especially among 60- to 75-year-olds. Saving water is much more important in Germany than in Austria and Switzerland.

When more specifically asked where there is potential for further savings, the following are most frequently mentioned: selling things I no longer need (22%), a general reduction in spending (17%), delaying major purchases until the situation improves (17%), making more things myself (16%) and spending less on transport (16%).


Sustainability will become much more important

When looking to the future, respondents regard the significance of sustainability as increasingly important (68%), followed by self-care (61%), being mindful of yourself and your surroundings (58%), concentrating on the essentials (57%) and focussing on the here and now (55%). Regional solidarity, individuality and neighbourliness/humanitarianism is a significantly bigger issue for under 30s than for older people.


The Generali Group is an independent Italian group with a strong international presence. Established in 1831, the company is now one of the world’s leading insurers. Generali has around 75,000 employees serving more than 67 million customers in 50 countries. The Group’s total income came to more than EUR 75.8 billion in 2021, making Generali the market leader in Western Europe. The company is also an increasingly important player in Central and Eastern Europe as well as in Asia.


Generali’s roots in Switzerland date back to 1887. Today, Generali (Switzerland) Holding Ltd. operates throughout Switzerland, with two head offices – one in Adliswil and one in Nyon – and a wide network of agencies. The insurer has more than one million customers and offers products for every situation in life. These include property insurance, legal expenses insurance, life insurance and pension solutions. Generali partners with start-ups to develop innovative products. The company is the first Swiss insurer to launch a fully digital pillar 3a.