‘We’re all competing for the same jobs': life in Britain’s youngest city

The 30% of Bradfordians under 20 face a perfect storm of problems, from youth unemployment to racial tension. But many of them insist it’s not all doom and gloom

When it comes to grim urban statistics in Britain, the city of Bradford tops many lists. Police statistics name Bradford as having the highest crime rates in West Yorkshire, while a 2014 YouGov poll named it Britain’s “most dangerous city”. Bradford also has one of the highest levels of youth unemployment in the UK: 26% of young people were out of work in 2015, up from 11.3% in 2004.

What makes these statistics particularly troubling, however, is the one that ties them all together. More than 30% of the population here are currently under the age of 20, and the city has the highest number of under-16s in the country, giving Bradford the unusual title of being the UK’s youngest city.

The options are equal between getting a job or getting into crime

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