Young Australians overwhelmingly believe the biggest issue facing the nation is the economy, with many feeling they need to find work to help pay for household bills according to Mission Australia’s national Youth Survey, the country’s biggest annual poll of young people.
The environment – traditionally a major issue for young people – has dropped dramatically as a matter of national importance, with concern falling by more than half since 2011. When asked to nominate the most important issues facing Australia, ‘the economy and financial matters’ was ranked most frequently in the top three by 31 per cent of respondents, followed by ‘population issues’ at 28 per cent and ‘alcohol and drugs’ at 22 per cent.
Concern around the environment – considered by young people to be the leading issue of national importance for the previous two years (37 per cent in 2011; 38 per cent in 2010) – fell by more than half, with only 17.5 per cent considering it a major challenge for the country.
The leading issues of personal concern to young people are ‘coping with stress, school or study problems’ and ‘body image’, with 43 per cent of young women significantly concerned about the latter.
Image: Report cover