finance

Five reasons Gen Y is worse off financially.

By Jessica Haynes

The debate over “who had it tougher” between Gen Y and Baby Boomers could well be over.

The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Report (HILDA), released today, surveyed 17,000 Australians over 15 years about their income, savings, health and family life.

And it’s not looking good for anyone under 30.

Here are the five figures which show those who fall into Gen Y are worse-off than their darling Baby Boomer parents. (Hi Mum.)

Home ownership is dropping

The big one. The Australian dream. A roof over your head that you can call your own.

The reality is the chances for young Australians of owning a home are falling.

The report has revealed that in 2001, 68.8 per cent of households were owner-occupied. In 2014, that dropped to 64.9 per cent.

In 2002, 57 per cent of adults were home owners, falling further to 51.7 per cent in 2014.

Home ownership among those aged between 25 and 34, or people falling within Gen Y, declined from 38.7 per cent in 2002 to 29.2 per cent in 2014, with most of that decline happening between 2010 and 2014.

Entry-level properties are more expensive than ever

Those wanting an inexpensive property for their first home are also being squeezed out of the market.

The report showed the 10th percentile of homes, the cheapest in the market, had grown 108 per cent in value between 2001 and 2014, compared to a 47 per cent growth for 90th percentile properties at the top of the market.

“An implication of this finding is that housing at the ‘affordable’ end of the distribution appears to have become relatively less affordable between 2001 and 2014,” the report states.

Meanwhile, the 45-year-old to 54-year-old age group owned the largest share of investment properties.

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And if you took the plunge to buy a home, you’re in big debt

If you are one of the lucky Gen Y folk who own a home, the median home equity for home owners aged 25–34 actually declined by 7.9 per cent between 2002 and 2014.

The HILDA report says this indicates that debt grew more strongly than home values.

Household income dropped

While mean and median disposable household income had grown by $21,434 between 2001 and 2014, the report also showed the median household income fell slightly between 2009 and 2014.

And, if you have a young family, or are thinking about having one, the cost of childcare is growing.

Spending on childcare had increased by 110 per cent since 2001.

Up to a quarter of single-parent households are also living in poverty.

The report also showed 77 per cent of Australian children under the age of four had never been to the dentist.

Boomers hold all the wealth

People aged over 65 are the wealthiest. And the 45- to 54-year-old age group has the largest share of investment properties.

The report showed elderly couples had the highest median net wealth, followed by non-elderly couples without dependent children and then couples with dependent children.

Is there any good news for younger people?

Well, Gen Y and Gen Z seem to be the most active. For example, women aged 25-34 did 102 minutes of vigorous exercise each week compared to women aged 45-54 who did just 77 minutes. #gymlife

Gen Y and Gen Z also get a little bit more sleep than their Boomer counterparts. #sleeplife

And you can guarantee Boomers did not reward themselves with a green smoothie, chia pudding and quinoa salad. #GenYlife

This post originally appeared on ABC News.

© 2016 Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. Read the ABC Disclaimer here

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