Owning a home has decreased over successive generations
Over half (55 per cent) of Millennials, 25–39 year olds, are homeowners compared with 62 per cent of Generation X and two thirds (66 per cent) of Baby Boomers when they were the same age.
Analysis of Census data from 1991, 2006 and 2021 showed that home ownership, including homes owned outright or with a mortgage, for those aged between 25–39 years has decreased in each successive generation.
The 25–39 year old Baby Boomers in 1991 were three times more likely than the 25–39 year old Millennials in 2021 to own their home outright.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) compared the characteristics of Millennials, the 25–39 year age cohort, in the 2021 Census with characteristics of Generation X and Baby Boomers when they were the same age using data from the 2006 and 1991 Censuses.
Duncan Young, General Manager, Census said, “generations are social groups born within a specific time period and sharing life experiences, significant events and culture.
“Baby Boomers were born in the aftermath of the second World War and were young adults through Australia’s recession in the early 1990’s.
“In contrast, Generation X were born during a time when birth rates were lower in the late sixties and seventies. They entered early adulthood as Facebook launched.
“Millennials were born in the eighties and nineties and experienced early adulthood as smartphones and tablets became household items.
“Every dinner table in Australia has heard someone reflect on how things were different ‘back in my day'. New analysis published today by the ABS uses three Censuses to explore what was different and also what is the same for Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials”.
The ABS analysis compares the generations in terms of living arrangements, study, qualifications, participation in the labour force, working conditions, income and housing.
Participation in the labour force was similar for Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers with around four in five employed or looking for work when they were 25–39 years old. For females, Millennials were more likely than earlier generations to be in the labour force (76 per cent), compared to Generation X (69 per cent) and Baby Boomers (66 per cent).
Millennials are the most qualified generation at 25–39 years of age with a greater proportion of Millennials having a non-school qualification—a certificate, diploma, or degree—than earlier generations.
Over three quarters of Millennials (79 per cent) have a qualification compared with under two thirds of Generation X (64 per cent) and less than half of Baby Boomers (48 per cent). Higher education qualifications were more likely for Millennials with 40 per cent having a bachelor degree or higher, compared with almost 25 per cent of Generation X. Only 12 per cent of Baby Boomers had a degree at the same age.
Over half (53 per cent) of Millennials have never been married, compared with 26 per cent of Baby Boomers at the same age. Compared with earlier generations, Millennials married at an older age. Half of Baby Boomers were married by 27 years of age, compared to 32 years for Generation X and 34 years for Millennials.
The most common living arrangements for Millennials is living in a couple household with no children (36 per cent), which is twice the rate of Generation X (18 per cent) when they were 25–39 years old. One in five Millennials (21 per cent) are living with a partner and children, compared to more than half of Baby Boomers (52 per cent) at the same age.
The ABS analysis is available in the article ‘Back in my day – comparing Millennials with earlier generations’.
- When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
- For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team via email@example.com (8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri).
- Subscribe to our media release notification service to get notified of ABS media releases or publications upon their release.