Okay Boomers, step aside for the Millennials

Generation Z, between the ages of 10 and 24, make up 18 percent of all Australians. But in a sign of the rapidly growing Indigenous population, 30 percent of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders Gen Z.

Demi Kotsoris, a 27-year-old millennial who visited Bondi on Monday, said her generation would shape workplaces for years to come.

Millennial Demi Kotsoris, working from her van in Bondi, says her generation is one in limbo.

Millennial Demi Kotsoris, working from her van in Bondi, says her generation is one in limbo.Credit:Wolter Peeters

She said hers was a limbo generation, shaped by the internet, that weren’t as attached to a work ethic and loyalty as previous generations.

“A lot of the education we’ve been given has taught us how to succeed in life before the Internet,” she said.

“I certainly checked all the boxes in life. I did well in school, I went to university, I got a really good job. I was making good money and I was confused as to why I was so… miserable.

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“I think for our parents’ generation, like when you think about the generation before us, it was enough for them to get that job from that education.”

Melbourne Millennials Liana Dowie, Yui Huo, Shaun Ponton, Shelby Hobbs and Josh Segal work from a co-working space, The Commons, in the center of the city.

The group said their generation’s access to information had enabled them to approach problems differently from their parents.

“We’ve had so much access to what’s happening in the world that we can be more proactive than reactive,” says Hobbs, 26.

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Ponton said embracing individuality was another key difference the group noticed between their generation and their parents.

“Younger people coming into power are much more reflective of their own personal tastes,” Ponton said. “Even with things like tattoos – 20 years ago it was a big no-no to have them in the workplace… but now people don’t even consider that a problem.”

The group also said millennials are prioritizing mental health, due to destigmatization and access to mental health services.

“We’re really lucky,” said Huo, 25. “All my friends go to their psychologists to work on themselves.”

Australia’s total population increased by 2.2 million or 8.6 percent to 25.5 million between the 2016 and 2021 censuses. The number of Indigenous Australians increased by 25.2 percent to more than 812,000 over the same period.

The census also confirmed that Australia is now a majority country of migrants, with 51.5 percent of all people born abroad or having a parent born in another country.

More than 1 million people moved to Australia between 2016 and 2021, although nearly 84 percent of them arrived before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020.

India is becoming an important source country for new Australians. The census showed an increase of 220,000 people who said they were born in India, meaning it overtook China and New Zealand as the third largest country of birth, after Australia and England.

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There was also an increase in the number of people leaving Nepal, with the population more than doubling between 2016 and 2021.

There are now 5.5 million people who speak a language other than English at home, an increase of nearly 800,000 since 2016.

There are 239,000 people who speak Punjabi at home, an 80 percent jump. The most common non-English language remains Mandarin with 685,274, followed by Arabic with 367,000.

In the first national census in 1911, nearly 96 percent of Australians described themselves as Christian. Now, for the first time, less than half of the population, 43.9 percent, identifies as Christian, up from 52.1 percent in 2016.

Religious differences are seen between age groups.

Nearly 60 percent of baby boomers reported a Christian religious affiliation, compared to 30 percent of millennials. More than 46 percent of millennials said they had no religion, compared to 30.7 percent of boomers.

Catholicism is the largest Christian religion with 20 percent of the population, up from 22.6 percent five years earlier. The proportion identifying as Anglicans, who were once the country’s most adherents, has fallen to a record low of just 9.8 percent, after 13.3 percent in 2016.

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Nearly two in five Australians, a record, now say they have no religion. In 2016 that was 30.1 percent.

Non-Christian religions are growing, but are still relatively small in total. The wave of Indo-Australians resulted in a 55 percent increase in the number of people following Hinduism, but they represent only 2.7 percent of the population.

There is also strong growth in Islam, but it accounts for 3.2 percent of all Australians.

The health needs of the two generations are also vastly different. About 7.4 percent of Boomers said they need help with core activities, compared to 2.8 percent of the younger generations.

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