A clue to the big question of housing affordability lies in the changing demographics of Australian Society – according to the Roy Morgan “State of the Nation” report due to be released in two week.

In the ten years since 1997 education levels have increased. Now 21% of Australians have a degree (up from 14% in 1997); incomes have also increased by over 40% since 1997.

However, among young Australians (aged 14-29) income increases have not kept up. The average income for 14-29 year olds today is approximately $23,200 (up from $16,500 in 1997).

This is hardly surprising, given the increased number of young people who are still studying (the 51% increase in degree qualified Australians hasn’t come from return to school for Baby Boomers – born 1946-1960), and in their first few years on the job. The Roy Morgan “State of the Nation” report due in the next two weeks provides a more detailed analysis of where the wealth lies in Australian Society: where the debt is greatest; where the spending is happening by age cohort. It shows the additional “financial momentum” of the Baby Boomer generation – gathering wealth, increasing the value of their investments including their houses, and spending.

And the increased mobile communication, overseas travel, the rise of Hudsons, Starbucks, and the “eating out” café and pub culture shows Australia’s young people are finding other ways to spend their money!