Half of the British adult population believe aliens exist according to a new survey, but the numbers are falling.
Of 4839 adults in Great Britain surveyed in a YouGov poll, 22% believe that aliens exist and have visited earth, while 28% believe they exist but have not.
This represents a slight fall in the overall number of adults who believe in the existence of aliens, as a similar YouGov survey in 2015 showed that 52% did then.
While men are far more likely than women to believe aliens exist, 58% to 41%, these numbers also represent a fall on both counts over the last six years.
In fact, belief in the existence of aliens appears to be falling across the board, with the notable exception of the young.
63% of 18–24-year-olds believe they exist and either have or have not visited earth, compared to just 35% of the over 65s.
That is a 4% increase among the youngest subsection against a massive 10% decrease among the oldest.
While a 4% increase is not a huge amount, it stands out in clear contrast to the overall trend.
Over recent years there have been several incidences of figures with an expertise in space exploration suggesting that alien life is likely or definite.
In 2015, British astronaut Tim Peake told Mirror Online: “I would be very surprised if there wasn’t life somewhere in the universe,” while in January last year the first British astronaut in space, Helen Sharman, told the Observer: “Aliens exist, there’s no two ways about it.”
Furthermore, less than a year ago, in September 2020, the journal Nature Astronomy published findings of a study that sub-glacial liquid water had been detected on Mars, increasing the possibility of the existence of the planet having sustained some sort of life.
So, while expert opinion and scientific research continue to suggest the likelihood of alien life, the population of British adults is generally becoming less accepting of the idea.
It was widely reported in January of this year that the CIA had declassified all the UFO files they held by supplying a CD-ROM to The Black Vault, a privately owned database for declassified records.
Although it is impossible to know whether this actually was all the files the CIA held on the matter, perhaps the lack of conclusive proof subsequently found in the trove so far has had an effect on the level of belief in aliens among adults in Great Britain.
As the British population continues to age, becoming ‘older’ as a whole, the apparent propensity to become less of a believer will continue to tip the population statistics as a whole in the same direction.