Opinion

Survey paints picture of youth

By Shepparton News

There’s so many reasons why I love radio station Triple J.

But its unrelenting quest to make the lives of young Aussies better would have to be the biggest.

Earlier this week the station announced the results of its census of young people titled ‘What’s Up In Your World’.

The survey had 11000 responses from people aged 18 to 29 and covered topics ranging from money to sex, providing a fascinating snapshot of the ‘typical’ young Aussie.

Not only did the results allow us to discover how we fit in with our average counterpart, they will inform many professionals working across a range of sectors.

Being a young professional myself, the results that most caught my eye featured in the ‘work and money’ section of the results.

I was not surprised at all to find out that more than half of the respondents had less than $5000 in their savings. In fact 24 per cent of those surveyed said they had less than $1000 in savings.

The cost of living is something that is becoming more and more difficult for young people to cope with.

It was encouraging to see 41 per cent did not have any form of debt, given the poor savings figures.

What did surprise me, however, was the fact that 42 per cent of respondents were still living at home with their parents.

This result really opens up a question I think Triple J could have answered as part of the survey — and that was the demographics of those who took part.

Namely, differentiating the results between metropolitan and regional/rural participants.

I would be inclined to think many of those who responded to the survey and indicated they lived at home would probably come from a metropolitan area.

Regionally, it is far more achievable for young people to break into the housing market and buy their first home.

It would be incredibly beneficial for regional youngsters to know how they compared to those living in metro areas, and furthermore it would assist those professionals that will use the data to inform their future work.

Another result that caught my eye was the fact young women were twice as likely to identify as LGBTQI+ than young men; 47 per cent of young males have not yet come out to their friends or family.

My assumption about this result is that men are simply more afraid to come out as gay or bisexual, given the pedestal on which our society has placed masculinity.

I thoroughly encourage young people and adults alike to take a look at the results.

They are incredibly easy to consume, being all in graphic form.

You can also head along to the ABC’s website at www.abc.net.au to take the quiz yourself and see just how you stack up to the ‘typical’ young Australian.

Tara Whitsed is a News journalist.