Earlier this week McCrindle Research released the latest social analysis report of Australia. It covers a variety of things like the typical Australian household, Australian employment, marriage and relationships, the social habits and the general face of the population. Reading through this report made one thing very clear – baby boomers really are the backbone of Australia.
We’re classified as older Australians and thought of as a minority, yet we make up around one quarter of the Australian population. Together with the “builders” generation, those who were born between 1935 and 1945, we’re one third of the Australian population. We’re one of the first generations to truly pay taxes all of our lives, we were independent, we’ve lived through some very tough times and if it wasn’t for the baby boomer generation, Australia wouldn’t be the place it is today.
Here are five reasons why…
Baby boomers make up 25 per cent of the workforce. There’s a common misconception that baby boomers are old and retired. This proves that in fact, baby boomers are active and are still contributing significantly to the growth of this county despite doing so for over 40 years already. What is more powerful is that in just ten short years, baby boomers workforce participation will drop to just 8 per cent. That’s an incredibly significant drop – a bigger difference in workforce participation than any other demographic and that takes us onto the second point.
When baby boomers fall from the workforce, there is a huge number of bricks and mortar skills that will be depleted. While 1 in 10 of the builder generation had university degrees, 1 in 5 baby boomers have a university degree and 1 in 2 Generation Zs will have a university degree. These are the people that will replace us in the workforce and they will bring an incredibly new skill set. We’ve built Australia today on bricks and mortar knowledge and skills, not academics. The average Australian is likely to have less practical knowledge in 20 years and this is not necessarily a positive change.
The typical Australian household has changed from a nuclear family to multigenerational… why? It is because more baby boomers still have their children living at home but are also caring for elderly parents instead of using retirement facilities and later life nursing homes. We’re still working and we’re caring for those around us giving so much to so many places. Will this continue to happen with each generation or will retirement facilities become the primary option for an ageing population?
We’re working because we need to fund our kids. There’s a new phrase travelling around: KIPPERS (Kids In Parents’ Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings). We’re fishing out of our pockets to help our children afford to live, study, get an education and enjoy a social life all at once, even though it isn’t necessarily our responsibility.
We have more expendable income than any other generation and more purchasing power than any other generation. Mortgages are paid off yet we’re still working. We hold a lot of power and will continue to for quite some time.
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So you see, the face of Australia and the stereotypical Australian society will undergo dramatic change over the next decade. Australia will change as we leave the workforce and look for alternative options. Currently were funding the government, funding ourselves, funding our children, contributing to the growth of Australia and caring for everyone in our lives but before too long a lot of that will stop.
So what will happen to Australia?
Do you feel the baby boomer generation has done it a lot tougher than other generations? This report sure does suggest that! Share your thoughts in the comments below…