The research, conducted in 20 countries by Ipsos Mori, also found that majority feel that young people will live a worse life than current generations.
The survey, which was conducted among young adults in Europe, North America, Japan and Australia fear that their nations' best days are behind them.
According to the Guardian, the poll found that in the so-called Bric nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) as well as Turkey, where standards of living have risen in recent years, many more people believe the next generation will be better off than their own.
In China, 81 percent of the population, and 78 percent of those questioned who are under 30, believe the lives of the youngest generation will be better than their own.
In European countries, positive responses fell dramatically to 16 percent in Spain, 13 percent in Belgium and just 7 percent in France.
In countries such as Sweden and Germany, people are twice as likely to be pessimistic than optimistic about the future lives of their young.
In Britain, the survey found just 20 percent of the population think today's youth will have a better life than their parents, as compared to 54 percent who think it will be worse.