The conversations of life

Young Australians among nation’s happiest – as long as you’re not living with mum and dad


Adult children living at home with their parents are the unhappiest people in the country, according to the latest Australian Unity Wellbeing Index.

Their levels of wellbeing hit a 10-year low in 2016. In contrast, 18 to 25-year-olds moving out and living with a partner recorded the second-highest level of wellbeing.

The joint project between Australian Unity and Deakin University, which surveyed 1,000 people aged 18 and over, found young and single house hunters were the least satisfied with their lives.

That’s despite overall happiness hitting its highest level since 2000.

So why isn’t everyone shacked up with their parents living the good life?

Stuck in the nest

Deakin University senior research fellow Delyse Hutchinson says they’ve found three main things contribute to people’s sense of wellbeing – financial security, a sense of purpose in life and strong relationships.

Dr Hutchinson says young adults living at home may be quite keen to fly the family nest.

“However, it might be that this is getting harder for young people, with rising rental and home prices, and possible difficulties securing stable work,” she says.

At least their parents can crack a smile. The happiest Australians in the survey were those over 76 so you’ve got something to look forward to – even if the kids aren’t moving out.

Lauren Broomham

Lauren is a journalist for, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

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