Changes in the Living Arrangements and Social Situations of Australia’s Younger Adults

Peter D. Brandon, Carleton College

Australian families, like their American counterparts, have experienced both striking transformations and surprising continuities since the 1970s. For younger Australians aged between 18 and 34 years the shifts and continuities have been especially pronounced. This study using two surveys 26 years apart with identical sampling designs and data collection methods measures changes in living arrangements for younger Australian adults aged between 18 and 34 years and provides estimates of the socio-demographic and economic factors that propelled or restrained changes in living arrangements. The study provides new information, based on precise identification of all household relationships, about how young Australian families changed or did not, and which factors were most salient across time. Among the findings reported are the increase in younger Australian adults living alone, the rapid decline of marriage, the dramatic increase in cohabitations containing children who are all biologically related to both cohabiting parents, and the continuity of intergenerational living arrangements.

Presented in Session 148: Family Change and Continuity