The third edition of the Australian Millennial Report polled 1239 Australians aged 20-37 and found significant changes in attitudes towards community engagement.
Author of the report Tom McGillick said the biggest trend in the attitudes and behaviours of Australian Millennials was in levels of political and social engagement.
“In 2018 we first asked Australian Millennials about how they currently participate in their community and over 70 per cent told us they didn’t want to want to participate in politics or activism. In January of 2020 that number has crashed to just 35 per cent. Millennials are volunteering and donating much more now, than in previous years.
What is this attributed to? “Trust in specific media channels and brands hasn’t changed significantly since 2018, and our attitudes towards the environment are also pretty similar to last year. What has changed though is what we call national optimism. Each year we ask respondents to rate their optimism regarding Australia’s prospects for success in the next five years from 0-10.
“That average score has fallen each year, from 6.35 in 2018, to 6.09 in January of this year. This is significant because average scores of personal optimism, and perceived prosperity haven’t seen the same falls over that time. It appears that the majority of Australian Millennials are feeling less positive about the way the country is going, and are more willing to involve themselves in affecting change.”
When asked how they want brands to participate in societal issues, 40 per cent of the 1239 polled preferred brands make improvements to their own business and manufacturing processes where possible, rather than making cash donations or raising awareness through their marketing.
What’s more, when asked what they considered the greatest misconception other generations have regarding Millennials, the most common response was “we’re lazy” (26 per cent), up since 2018.
“What we’re seeing is a group of motivated young Australians, looking for ways to make a greater contribution to the issues they care about, and looking to brands that place societal and environmental progress at the centre of their practices, rather than their marketing,” McGillick said.
So what are those issues, and why is national optimism falling? Overwhelmingly, it’s the cost of living that Australian Millennials nominate as their biggest source of stress (43.18 per cent in 2020) but this generation is increasingly environmentally conscious. When asked if a federal election were held tomorrow what their most important issue would be, only 29 per cent say cost of living, with 24 per cent nominating the environment as their most important voting issue of all.
The 2020 Australian Millennial report compares trends in the attitudes and behaviours of Australian Millennials from 2018 to today across Politics, family, finance, work, education, sex, health, interest usage, and media, and is available to download here.
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