Young Australians are now more concerned with the economy than they are with the environment according to the results on a new survey.
The 11th annual Mission Australia National Youth Survey polled 15,000 young Australians aged between 15 and 19 and found an increasing level of anxiety about job prospects and financial security, which has over taken the environment as the primary concern of Australia’s youth.
During the previous two survey, the environment was the primary concern amongst young Australians. The issue now places sixth, with roughly 17.5 per cent of those polled saying it was the most important issue facing Australia, compared with 37.4 per cent in the previous year.
Dr. Bronwen Dalton of Mission Australia says the environment has been replaced by more immediate concerns.
”The environment has been crowded out by this really dominant concern about the economy,” she said.
Many of those polled said they were either worried about parents losing jobs or were concerned they would not be able to find work to support families.
Dr. Dalton added that Australia’s youth were acutely aware of the state of the global economy and the impact the downturn will have on them,
”What stood out to us was these heart-wrenching comments about how they have got to get a job to support their families or mum and dad are out of work and they need to do more to keep the family afloat,” she said.
”It was very troubling to see that young people were so concerned with financial security.”
Dr. Dalton says that green groups would be concerned about the decline in importance of the environment as an issue for young people, however the survey did not suggest that young people were less engaged from the issue with over 25 per cent saying they participated in environmental activities.