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Young Australians more likely to experience loneliness

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The finding was included in the latest Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) report, released this week.
young australians experience loneliness

Young Australians are more likely to experience loneliness and psychological distress than other age groups, new data shows.

The finding was included in the latest Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) report, released this week.

The report gathered data between 2001 and 2021 by interviewing the same group of 17,000 Australians every year about their finances, family and social life, and physical and mental health.

Here’s what it found.

Loneliness among Young Australians

Youth loneliness: The highest rates of loneliness were reported among young Australians, those aged 15-24. While loneliness increased during the pandemic, researchers said they were concerned about a “longer-term trend” of loneliness that could be linked to “growth in smartphones and social media use”.

Relationships: Data suggests fewer Australians are choosing to get married, and the number of unmarried couples living together (de facto relationships) has increased.

Psychological distress: 42% of 15-24 year olds reported psychological distress (including depression or anxiety) in 2021. This was more than double 2011 rates. The report also found that psychological distress declined as Australians got older.

Other findings

Vaping: The report found that teenagers were “far more likely” to vape than Australians over 30. Just over 14% of people 15 years and over had tried a vape or e-cigarette at least once.

Living at home: It’s become more common for adult children (aged 18-29) to live with their parents in the last 20 years.

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