What are younger Australians most nervous about? Discovering reasonably priced housing, they informed us


Many people had been anxious and fearful in the course of the COVID pandemic, however we’ve most likely began to really feel rather a lot higher since lockdowns have stopped and life seems extra prefer it did beforehand.

However new information exhibits that hasn’t been the case for Australia’s younger folks.

Our wide-ranging survey of youth throughout the nation reveals many younger folks worry they’ll by no means have the ability to personal a house and can find yourself worse-off than their dad and mom.

Learn extra:
Listening to youth voices was lacking within the COVID-19 pandemic response

Inexpensive housing is their prime concern

Information from the 2023 Australian Youth Barometer, which surveyed 571 younger Australians aged 18-24 and interviewed 30 extra, spotlight younger folks’s interconnected and confronting attitudes about their futures.

On this third iteration of the annual survey, we anticipated enhancements in younger folks’s attitudes following the worst of the pandemic.

However the pressures have intensified following will increase to prices of residing and a number of disruptions to younger lives, resulting in anxieties about their future.

The clear majority of younger folks (70%) mentioned reasonably priced housing was their prime concern (15% improve since final yr), whereas 51% nominated employment alternatives (up 9%) because the second.

Concern about reasonably priced housing is unsurprising. The worry is actual.

Except for skyrocketing rents and home costs, many younger folks face the prospect of getting nowhere to dwell. In accordance with 2021 Census information, nearly one in 4 of all folks experiencing homelessness (23%) are 12 to 24 years of age.

A 23-year-old girl from the ACT, who’s residing in a caravan she doesn’t personal, informed us housing was her largest concern:

I’m very fortunate to have it [the caravan]. And if it will get taken away from me, I’m again out on the streets once more […] I would like to have the ability to bathe, have a spot to prepare, eat, all that. That’s actually the one concern in life.

Seeing a pathway to reasonably priced lodging is all of the tougher given younger folks’s present circumstances.

Some 90% of these surveyed skilled monetary difficulties prior to now yr, a continuation of final yr’s development. Round one in 5 (21%) skilled meals insecurity.

Surviving now is a priority, not to mention affording a roof tomorrow. Simply 35% of younger folks really feel assured that they’ll have the ability to afford a spot to dwell within the subsequent yr.

Feeling unprepared for the long run

Solely 52% of younger folks we surveyed really feel their training has ready them for the long run

Three points come up right here. First, some younger individuals are crucial of training of their faculties and put up college establishments.

One 23-year-old girl from South Australia mentioned:

The training system in Australia is totally appalling is what I’ve to say about it. It’s so behind, it’s so backdated, it has not saved up with the instances, their studying methods are simply inaccurate, and a waste of everybody’s time […] It wasn’t catered to what could be finest for studying within the classroom, it was simply, ‘That is what the system is, that’s what we’re doing’.

Second, there’s a rising consciousness that in a aggressive labour market, better {qualifications} may not result in fascinating, safe jobs.

A teenage girl studies in class

Solely round half of the younger folks surveyed believed training had ready them for the long run.

The third is knowing what’s required to get that fascinating work. Upheavals to the workforce, together with technological developments reminiscent of automation, have led to questioning what abilities, information and expertise are required for job futures which are decreasingly knowable.

Different elements reminiscent of local weather change (the third prime situation requiring speedy motion) and geopolitical insecurity amplify uncertainty in regards to the future.

Learn extra:
Sure, younger individuals are involved about local weather change. However it could possibly drive them to take motion

Challenges to youth psychological well being

The challenges outlined above intersect. One 20-year-old girl from Queensland informed us:

I’m simply nervous that it’ll be tougher for me to get a job from my course or no matter, or that if stuff like price of residing and all the pieces retains going up, irrespective of if I get a job, I wouldn’t have the ability to, like, keep on prime of that, as properly.

Solely 52% of younger Australians suppose that it’s seemingly or extraordinarily seemingly that they’ll obtain monetary safety sooner or later.

Extra younger Australians suppose they are going to be financially worse off than their dad and mom (from 53% in 2022 to 61% in 2023). Most (97%) felt nervous, anxious or pessimistic prior to now yr (a rise of 14% on final yr’s information).

Learn extra:
The right way to train kids about local weather change, encourage hope and take motion to alter the long run

Simply over 1 / 4 (26%) characterised their psychological well being as poor or very poor (up 8% on final yr). Practically one in 4 (24%) obtained psychological well being care prior to now yr.

Younger folks see their well being and wellbeing as interconnected to different elements, reminiscent of reasonably priced lodging, jobs and meals safety. A 24-year-old man from New South Wales mentioned that:

Monetary independence is form of a wholesome factor. I feel that understanding that you can afford your lease, understanding you can afford meals […] understanding that you’ve got a roof over your head is one thing that I measure for healthiness.

Attitudes which are right here to remain?

Situations for younger folks sometimes deteriorate throughout financial downturns. The query is whether or not the tendencies above replicate a tremor or a quake.

We noticed throughout earlier recessions how younger folks had been disproportionately and negatively affected in comparison with older age teams. That tremor is already seen, regardless of comparatively good employment figures in recent times (which insufficiently seize the standard, safety and desirability of present employment). Even so, youth unemployment price has elevated to eight.7%.

So are these attitudes more likely to stay?

A youthquake is often outlined as a marked shift in cultural norms led to by altering values, tastes and attitudes of younger folks. Such shifts are related to wider social, financial and political seismic upheavals.

Our findings recommend that situations for the following youthquake might need begun.



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