Education before marriage: the latest on generational differences

How much can a society change in one generation?

The latest Australian Social Trends report, released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, compares data from the 2011 Census and the 1976 Census - proving just how different today’s young adults (aged 18-34) are from the previous generation.

The researchers found a particularly large decrease in the number of young adults getting married. In 1976, 67% of 24-year-olds had been married, compared with just 14% of 24-year-olds in 2011.

Similarly striking was the increase in educated young adults: in 2011, nearly twice the number of young adults were attending an educational institution compared with 1976. This change also saw a shift from more young men than young women in higher education in 1976, to the opposite in 2011, when more young women were attending an educational institution than young men.

The analysis also found that part-time work was much more common in 2011 than in 1976.

Contrastingly, young adults are also tending to leave the family nest later in life. In 2011, 29% of young adults lived with their parents, compared to only 21% in 1976.

Read more at Australian Bureau of Statistics