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

Coming of age’ UK voters fall by 1.69 per cent Failing to register can mean missing out on best credit deals and online services

Nottingham, UK, 01 February 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[1].

An estimated 1.17 million UK 18-year-olds have a Facebook account[2], 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.”

Signing up to the electoral roll typically increases someone’s Experian Credit Score[3] by around 50 points which would, for example, propel a middling ‘good’ score into the top ‘excellent’ category.


Registered and ‘coming of age’ voters in the UK from 2011 to 2015



Coming of Age voters

















UK 18-year-olds registered on social media vs. ‘coming of age’ voters in 2015


Number of UK 18-year-olds registered











Electoral Roll


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: http://bitetheballot.co.uk/nvrd/



Notes to editors

Interviews with Jonathan Westley are available on request. 

Social media user figures from GlobalWebIndex.

Year-on-year comparisons are made by considering the 457 local authorities to submit voter registration figures against the figures they submitted in previous years. Data is outstanding from five local authorities and they have not been used for comparative purposes.

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).

For more information please contact:


Sarah Muir / Tom Pavey Smith

020 7490 8828
sarahm@lansons.com/ thomasps@lansons.com


About Experian

We are the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to our clients around the world. We help businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. We also help people to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.  In 2015, we were named by Forbes magazine as one of the ‘World’s Most Innovative Companies’.

We employ approximately 17,000 people in 37 countries and our corporate headquarters are in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended March 31, 2015, was US$4.8 billion.

To find out more about our company, please visit http://www.experianplc.com or watch our documentary, ‘Inside Experian’.


[1] Voters registered in the 457 local authorities to submit data for 2015 so far from a total of 462.

[2] Social media user figures from GlobalWebIndex.

[3] See ‘Notes to editors’ for more details on the Experian Credit Score.