Young people's future health inquiry

A first-of-its-kind research and engagement project that aims to build an understanding of the influences affecting the future health of young people


There are around 10.5 million young people aged between 12 and 24 living in the UK – almost one in five of the population.

Between these ages, young people go through life-defining experiences and changes, moving through education into employment, leaving home and forging key relationships and lifelong connections.

Today’s young people face opportunities and challenges that are very different to those experienced by their parents, and even those they themselves imagined they would be facing in their teenage years.

This matters because these building blocks – a place to call home, secure and rewarding work, and supportive relationships with their friends, family and community – are key foundations of a healthy life. There is strong evidence that health inequalities are largely determined by inequalities in these areas, called the social determinants of health. While young people are preparing for adult life, they are also building the foundations for their future health.

Our initial findings

As part of the inquiry, the Health Foundation conducted extensive engagement work with young people around the UK.

This work identified four assets that help young people in their transition to adulthood and in turn secure the building blocks for a healthy future:

  • appropriate skills and qualifications
  • personal connections
  • financial and practical support
  • emotional support.

Read our full report

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Site visits

In five UK towns and cities, the Young people’s future health inquiry team listened to the perspectives of young people and youth organisations about access to the assets needed for a healthy transition into adulthood.

Our visits uncovered common themes and a strong sense of place, shaping the young people’s identity and how they described themselves. 

A place to grow is the second report in the Health Foundation’s Young people’s future health inquiry and is the result of engagement with over 600 young people aged 16 to 24 from five distinct areas across the UK. 

Read the full report

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Learning report

A place to grow

The second report in the Health Foundation’s Young People’s Future Health Inquiry, exploring site visits to five locations ar...


Watch: Young people's future health inquiry

Watch our animation to find out what building blocks are needed for a healthy future.

Recent features

Newsletter feature

Four vital assets that contribute to a healthy future

As part of our Young People’s Future Health Inquiry, we spoke to young people (aged 22-26) from across the UK to discover the...

Learning report

Listening to our future

Listening to our future is the first report in the Health Foundation's Young people's future health inquiry.

Newsletter feature

What was it like growing up in North Ayrshire?

Zoe is one of the young people who helped with our the research inquiry in North Ayrshire. She talks about some of the key is...


Seeing the world through a young person’s eyes

Jo Bibby explains how our Young People's Future Health Inquiry helped us gain a deeper understanding of some of the common ch...

Our research programme

Find out more about our funding programme aiming to build an understanding of the future health prospects of young people.

Find out more

Further reading

Working paper

The social determinants of young people’s health

This paper provides an overview of evidence on the social determinants of young people’s health


A changing society is putting the future health of the next generation at risk

Experiences between the ages of 12 and 24 play a crucial role in determining young people’s health and wellbeing in the long ...

Consultation response

Mental health and young people

Our response to children and young people's mental health green paper consultation.

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Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

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The Q Community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

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