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Everyone agrees families are important, so why is it getting harder to form one?

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07.09.2019

Families are very important to our politicians – at least that’s what they keep telling us. In our fractious national debate, the importance of families is one thing just about everyone can agree on. But if they are so important, why has it become more difficult to actually form a family?

Young Australians still want partnership, children and housing but the evidence suggests getting those things has become a whole lot harder.

Illustration: Matt DavidsonCredit:

A recent report on the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey, or HILDA, drew attention to some social and economic factors slowing the formation of new families.

The study has been tracking family relationships, income and employment in a sample of more than 5000 households since 2001.

One striking finding from this unique survey has been the persistent rise in 20-somethings lingering in the family home.

The report shows 56 per cent of men aged 18 to 29 lived with their parents in 2017, up from 47 per cent in 2001. The rise was even more pronounced among women in that age group – 54 per cent of them were living with parents in 2017 compared with 36 per cent in 2001.

Employment trends have helped make household formation more difficult, experts sayCredit:Tamara Voninski

Young adults are “taking more time before entering into........

© The Age