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New research reveals Aussie youth are concerned about the cost of living and housing

2 min read
Aussie youth

New research reveals the cost of living as the single biggest concern for Australian youth, with the affordability of housing and rent also significant causes for worry.  

The headspace National Youth Mental Health Survey asked young people to name their top three concerns, with financial instability and cost of living coming out on top.  

“Young people should never have to worry about having a safe place to call home,” said Jason Trethowan, headspace CEO. 

The issue was cited as urgent by 54% of participants aged 18 to 25, with housing affordability being the next most common concern among 18-25-year-olds, with 42% listing it as one of their top concerns. 

When asked to describe how worried they were about their ability to one day afford their own home, 71% of participants reported they were fairly worried or very worried, while 61 % told headspace they were fairly or very worried about the cost of rent.  

The headspace Youth National Mental Health survey also found that over half of participants aged 18-25, 52% said they are hesitant to have children because of the cost of living.  

“Young people are telling headspace they feel anxious about how the rising cost of living is going to impact their ability to achieve major life milestones, like moving out of home or saving for a house,” added Trethowan. 

University student Grace Sholl, from Queensland, said the cost of living pressures are impacting her mental health.  

“As a young person with anxiety and depression, I’m finding the cost of living really challenging,” the 21-year-old said. 

The survey data features as part of a headspace submission to the Senate Select Committee on the Cost of Living.  

The submission from headspace details key focus areas for the government, including: improving access to and out-of-pocket expenses for mental health services; investment in vocational services; the need to identify and support young people not captured in unemployment data; and the need to strengthen financial support for low-income earners and jobseekers.  

“It is also incumbent on governments to take steps to alleviate these pressures so that young people and their families can afford the things they need to lead happy, healthy lives,” said Trethowan. 

“Together we need to be finding ways to help young people feel optimistic about their futures.” 

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Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.


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