Survey: 1 In 5 Adults In The UK Can’t Change A Lightbulb, Boil An Egg

change a light bulb

Good grief…what in the world is wrong with people?

From Are you handy enough that if a lightbulb went out in your home you’d be able to change it? Believe it or not, one in five people aren’t so skilled. In fact, a new survey of people in the United Kingdom finds not only do about 20 percent of people not know how to change a bulb — the same number aren’t sure how to boil an egg, either.

The British insurance company Aviva recently released their annual Home Report which detailed, among numerous findings about how people do work around the house, relatively common tasks that people encounter. The company surveyed 2004 people across the UK in February and March about their habits and roles at home.

In addition to just one in five not being able to change a lightbulb or boil an egg, the survey found that nearly a third of the participants couldn’t cook any meal on the fly. And if someone were to spill a portion of their meal on their clothes or on the floor, only 59 percent would know how to get rid of the resulting stain. Only 37 percent could change a flat tire.

The findings were even surprising to the folks behind the study.

“As a nation we tend to take pride in our ability to do things ourselves in and around the home, so it’s a surprise to see there could be a skills gap in places,” says Aviva Propositions Director Adam Beckett in a press release. “That said, we also know that people lead busy lives, so while we enjoy doing things ourselves, we also appreciate the opportunity to leave things to a professional from time to time, particularly with some of the more challenging jobs.”

Interestingly, while 50 percent of those surveyed said they learned how to do a home task on their by trial and error, plenty of people are turning to the internet for help, especially millennials. The study found four in 10 people aged 25 and under prefer learning do-it-yourself chores online. That’s more than twice the number in the age group who turn to an actual book for help.

Here’s a look at the polled tasks and the number of people who indicated they could successfully complete them:

 Task Percentage who feel confident doing this task
Boil an egg 81%
Change a light bulb 79%
Cook a complete meal without using a recipe 69%
Read a map 66%
Sew on a button 65%
Unblock a sink 62%
Remove a stain from a carpet or clothing 59%
Change a baby’s nappy 57%
Wire a plug 57%
‘Bleed’ a radiator 53%
Check oil levels in a car 53%
Put up a shelf 47%
Put up wallpaper 39%
Change a flat tyre 37%
Change a washer on a tap 30%
Fit tiles 22%


22 responses to “Survey: 1 In 5 Adults In The UK Can’t Change A Lightbulb, Boil An Egg

  1. To answer your first question, nothing. People are developing skills in community activism so that they can order the competent how they should do what the incompetent are not capable of doing. (Sarc.)

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Ah, the fruits of the unspoken spoiled modern notion that learning anything practical hurts one’s children’s “potential” to advance… Eloi, anyone?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: KOMMONSENTSJANE – Survey: 1 In 5 Adults In The UK Can’t Change A Lightbulb, Boil An Egg — Fellowship of the Minds | kommonsentsjane

  4. Simply pitiful!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. 90%, however, know how to ask “the government” how to relieve them of their plight using others’ money.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jurist . . . I think you have hit on the very problem. In large measure, people who are proficient in their own lives, do not WANT or NEED the government to “take care of them.” Since the UK, and for that matter the US is not long behind them, have instituted taking care of the nation’s citizens, people have ceased learning how to be proficient. Whereas, if the government were not meddling (relieving some people of their wages to give to others) in the lives of their citizens, each person, or family would have a vested interest in learning how to be a proficient person on their own.

      I must admit, although I understand the rudimentary idea behind changing a tire, I was fortunate enough that I received a gift of “AAA Membership” when I was about 21 years old, so thank Heavens I have never had to change a tire. For whatever reason, I have an extreme fear of working on changing tires . . . having to jack up the car. I don’t know why this is, I just recognize that I have this phobia. In consequence, I make sure that I keep tires on the car that are in good condition, so that in my lifetime, I have perhaps only had three flat tires (two of the times, someone “knifed” one of my tires.) I think I am rather lucky in that regard.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely-just tell ’em what you’re trying to do and they can list ALL the forms you’ll need to download,print,complete and who you need to deliver ’em to. (They’re ALSO pretty good at Movie Trivia.)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. LOL – Actually, I have problems boiling eggs at times because I tend to over-cook them to the point the sulfur gets pulled out of the yoke.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The trick is you don’t boil the eggs…just the water. Once the water has reached a boil, add the eggs (or some people bring the water to a boil with the eggs in the pan), cover the pot with a lid, and remove from the heat. Should be done in 8 – 12 minutes, depending upon how soft you want the yolk.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I was going to write something snarky, but I couldn’t figure this darned “keyboard” thingy out… All I see are upper-case letters; how am I supposed to type? Gah!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’ve noticed over 30 yrs in this vein that we’ve become a “service industry” nation…but the prob IS…those supposedly in business to provide “service” are ignorant in their “fields” of employ. The same “accountability standards” that apply to white collar employees, i.e., teachers, bankers, CPA’s, clergy, doctors, nurses–so on….have NOT “trickled down” into the service industry. So many times, the service industry recruits off the street/provides minimal training..& the result is…very uneven/unsatisfactory, sometimes damaging delivery of “services” for which we pay through the nose. Example:

    It took us 30 YEARS..going thru’ roofing company after roofing company to find the source of a roof leak..(WE were FIRST owners of a brand-spanking new home w/huge roof leak—which means …we were scammed by the builder & then scammed for 30 yrs by roofing repair companies) and don’t THINK that we didn’t pay through the nose & also do whatever repair was recommended by each/every company. (Finally…a BIG storm blew off so many tiles that it became apparent the original builder had not used both tar paper & flashing correctly…& THIS should have been apparent to any one of the roofers who inspected our roof thru’ the yrs, removing, for instance, as much as 1/3 of our clay tiles to expose the roof structure/underlayment.)…..

    This is a HUGE example….but there are constant everyday smaller examples, like the cashier who can’t make correct change, or who overcharges…ot the Starbucks cashiers or spaghetti house waitresses who skim off your gift card…or else who can NOT read the difference between a $14 balance and a $.14 balance…..and so you pay $17 for a $3 cup of coffee just to get out of the line in which you’ve been trying to “educate” the miscreant through several years of math education in about 2 minutes…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sadly, lots of folk (even from professional fields, who’ve hung out their own shingle at it) want only the low-hanging fruit scripted answers can secure and turn up their noses at anything requiring effort (you know, which their particular trade is supposed to perform) today. If Joe Blow can look it up on the Internet and get it wrong, what’s the difference any more? Having to pay for it or not, that’s it?


  9. None of this is actually surprising. For years the schools have been used as propaganda vehicles instead of teaching institutions. Many households have no father, so there goes a lot of the mechanical teachings.
    These are the same people that think a Muslim mayor is good for London.
    They should at least know right is tight, left is loose, and poop runs downhill and payday in Friday…you’re welcome.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Next they’ll try to change an egg and boil a lightbulb!

    Liked by 1 person

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