If Millennials, Baby Boomers and Gens X and Z would stop flinging insults and avocado at each other, they would find they have quite a lot in common, according to a social researcher headed to Cairns this month.
Associate Professor Dan Woodman is a chief investigator in the long-running ‘Life Patterns’ research study of the transition to adulthood of young Australians.
Our media and narratives tend to pit angry or entitled Millennials against complacent Baby Boomers, or portray Gen Xers as out of touch with their tech-obsessed Gen Z kids. But Dan suggests that intergenerational relationships within families and communities are better than they have been in years - with Cairns being no exception.
“It is now the norm for young adults to live longer in the family home, and mum and dad increasingly expect it," Dr Woodman says. "Yet, the primary reason young people are staying at home longer is that education takes longer, entry-level jobs are less secure and housing is further out of reach.
“Youth unemployment in Queensland is almost 14 per cent and although Cairns has done particularly well over the past year in creating opportunities for young people, underemployment and insecure employment are common and it takes longer for young people to find their feet.”
In Cairns, Millennials (aged between 25 and 39) are the smallest generational group at 18.8 per cent of the region’s population. The largest group is Generation Z (people aged between 4 and 24), at 25 per cent of the city’s population, according to the most recent census figures.
Around 21 per cent of Cairns people fall into Generation X (aged 40-54), and 22 per cent are Baby Boomers (aged 55-75).