What older Australians really think about younger Australians


A new report by National Seniors Australia has revealed older Australians care a lot about younger Australians and the issues they face, now and in the future.

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Key Points


Among the top issues raised were:
  • Unemployment and job security 31%
  • Housing affordability 27%
  • Education 20%
  • Mental health 10%
  • Climate change 9%

A new report by National Seniors Australia has revealed older Australians care a lot about younger Australians and the issues they face, now and in the future.

The report, titled ‘Worry about the younger generation – Older Australians’ intergenerational solidarity’ follows a survey of almost 3,000 seniors who were asked to nominate which issues they are concerned about affecting the younger generation.

Other issues raised included physical health and wellbeing, drugs and alcohol, violence and crime, social media, and poor parenting.

National Seniors CEO, Professor John McCallum says: “There’s too much commentary from economists and opinion writers that pits older people against younger generations.”

“What’s been missing in the conversation is what each generation thinks about the other”.  

“This report goes some way to filling that gap,” said Professor McCallum.  

The survey asked respondents to write in a text box to express their views or concerns.  

“Whilst there were negative views on some younger people’s behaviour, the majority of the comments were positive. “In fact, far from frowning about younger people, many seniors have empathy and expressed admiration and respect for them,” Professor McCallum said. 

Examples of this sentiment were comments such as:

“…my experience with the young indicates the future is in good hands.”

“My messages are for older people not the younger people, many of whom have sound and constructive ideas.”

“Mostly they seem to have the right ideas, even if we oldies don’t appreciate them.”

There was also a theme of sadness in the comments that younger Australians might not lead as fortunate a life as the older generation has.

This survey data was recorded in late 2019 and the sentiments expressed remained consistent in National Seniors surveys conducted during the pandemic in 2020.

Read the report