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“Back in the day…”

Baby Boomers, it seems, actually did ‘have it easier’, according to new census data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

In fact, the figures show that 25–39 year olds in 1991 were three times more likely to own their home outright than the same cohort in 2021.

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 dropped in each successive generation.

Over half (55%) of today’s Millennials are homeowners, compared with 62% of Generation X and two thirds (66%) of Baby Boomers when they were the same age.

Duncan Young, General Manager, Census defined generations as being 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”, Young said.

“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’.”

With that in mind, the ABS statisticians compared 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 found to be 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%), compared to Generation X (69%) and Baby Boomers (66%).

Millennials are the most qualified generation at 25–39 years of age with a greater proportion of them having a non-school qualification—a certificate, diploma, or degree—than earlier generations.

Over three quarters of Millennials (79%) have a qualification compared with under two thirds of Generation X (64%) and less than half of Baby Boomers (48%). Higher education qualifications were more likely for Millennials with 40% having a bachelor degree or higher, compared with almost 25% of Generation X. Only 12% of Baby Boomers had a degree at the same age.

Over half (53%) of Millennials have never been married, compared with 26% 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%), which is twice the rate of Generation X (18%) when they were 25–39 years old. One in five Millennials (21%) are living with a partner and children, compared to more than half of Baby Boomers (52%) at the same age.

About Adam Nobel

CEO | Principal
M. Bus, Grad Dip Adv, B.Int Bus, LREA


0417 007 001

Adam is the founder and Principal of Hugo Alexander Property Group. With a previous career in advertising, 22 years experience in property investment, and 16 years in Brisbane real estate, he knows the market inside out to ensure his clients grow their wealth faster.

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