‘Coming of age’ voter numbers surge by 27% in a year - but Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and WhatsApp all boast double the amount of young members

UK, 26 January 2017: Eighteen-year-olds are much more likely to send a tweet or share a selfie than to vote in an election or referendum, according to Experian.

The number of people on the electoral roll who turn 18 in 2017 has increased by 84,000 on 2016’s figures to reach 392,000, according to the local authority annual canvass.

Yet more than a million people of this age have an account on Facebook and YouTube, while Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp all boast double the amount of users compared to the electoral roll.

Experian’s James Jones said: “Young people who haven’t registered to vote forfeit their say on who sits on their local council and in parliament. However, they may not realise the electoral roll is also used to check their identity online, so applying for a new passport or credit card could be made harder than it needs to be. Registering to vote is seen as a sign of stability by lenders, so it can help you to access cheaper rates on loans and other financial services. It’s an easy way of strengthening your credit history.”

Overall, there are 46.8 million registered voters in the UK, an increase of 2.55% on the previous year. Four in five (81%) of local authorities reported an increase in registered voters compared to last year.

Table 1: 18-year-olds on the electoral roll and popular social media platforms

Social media figures provided by GlobalWebIndex


UK 18-year-olds


Electoral Roll


















Ade O’Connor

PR Manager, Business
0115 99 22 645 / 07583 085 796

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