18-year-olds three times more likely to be on Instagram than electoral roll

Failing to register can mean missing out on best credit deals and online services

UK, April 14, 2022: Young people in the UK who became eligible to vote in 2021 are far more likely to be using social media platforms than registered on the electoral roll, according to new analysis from Experian.

The research found that 227,087 18-year-olds in the UK registered on the electoral roll1 in 2021 – that’s nearly three times less than the estimated 657,356 who used Instagram at least once a month in the same year2.

Other social media platforms, including Snapchat, TikTok, Facebook and Twitter, also boast more monthly users of this age, compared to those registered to vote.

Registering is easy - you can now do this online at www.gov.uk/registertovote. You must now provide your National Insurance number and date of birth when you register. Alternatively, you can contact your council for a form.

John Webb, Senior Consumer Affairs Executive at Experian, said: “People who haven’t registered to vote may not realise it’s not just about having your say on election day, it can also benefit you in other ways too. It can help protect your identity and also increase your chances of getting credit. So it’s definitely worth registering as soon as you can.

“Being on the electoral roll is particularly important for younger people looking to access mainstream financial services. Many young adults may be in a position where they are virtually invisible to the financial system because there’s not enough information available to lenders about them. Taking this simple step should be seen as essential to start building a credit history from scratch”

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 and more affordable borrowing. Getting on the electoral roll typically increases someone’s Experian Credit Score3 by around 50 points.

Six ways you can benefit by getting on the electoral roll

  1. Registering to vote improves your credit score.

Your Experian Credit Score reflects your chances of getting approved by lenders, for things like a loan, credit card or even a mobile phone contract. When you register to vote, your electoral details are recorded on your report. This data helps lenders confirm your name and address, so your score will increase as a result, and make getting credit easier

  1. You can save time on credit applications.

If lenders can’t confirm your details via the electoral roll, they may ask for other forms of identity and proof of address. This can delay your application, so registering to vote can save you time in the long run.

  1. It’s easier to access certain services.

Lenders aren’t the only organisations who use your electoral details to identify you. Registering to vote can also give you easier access to insurance, legal and accounting services, as well as some public services (such as getting a passport).

  1. You can have your say.

The main purpose of registering is so you can vote in the local and general elections, giving you some influence over their outcome.

  1. You’ll be more protected.

If you registered to vote at a previous address, it’s important to re-register at your new home. This can help you avoid identity theft and fraud.

  1. You may find job applications easier.

Some employers – particularly those in the financial sector – will use the electoral roll to check your details when you apply for a job.

                                                                                                -ENDS-

Appendix:

Table 1: UK 18-year-olds who have using social media at least once a month2

Platform

18-year-olds in the UK who use these platforms at least monthly  

Instagram

657356

Snapchat

617018

TikTok

543066

Facebook

454173

Twitter

447450

 Notes to editor:

[1] Number of 18-year-olds registered on the electoral roll taken from Experian dataset based on 462 local authorities in the UK.

[2] Social media figures combine metrics from GWI survey and the total population of 18-year-olds in the UK taken from ONS and Experian datasets.

[3] The Experian Credit Score runs from 0-999 and is an indication of how a lender would see you based on the information provided in your Experian Credit Report. The higher your score, the greater chance you have of getting the best credit deals. Bands: Very Poor (0-560), Poor (561-720), Fair (721-880), Good (881-960), Excellent (961-999).

Media contacts:

Joseph Green, Senior PR Manager, Corporate & Business, UK&I, Experian

Tel: +44 (0)7812 737 768  / E: joseph.green@experian.com

About Experian

Experian is the world’s leading global information services company. During life’s big moments – from buying a home or a car, to sending a child to college, to growing a business by connecting with new customers – we empower consumers and our clients to manage their data with confidence. We help individuals to take financial control and access financial services, businesses to make smarter decisions and thrive, lenders to lend more responsibly, and organisations to prevent identity fraud and crime.

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