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March 18, 2013 | by  | in Features |
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Boom &Bust

Salient Contrasts the milestones from birth of our parental baby boomers and our fellow generation Y’s.

BABY BOOMERS (born 1960)

1960: On average, you were born into a family with 4.1 children. only 3.2 per cent of marriages ended in divorce, so chances are your nuclear family stayed together.

1960: You went to school at a time where 17.8 per cent of government expenditure was in Education.

1960: Cost of your tertiary education? Free! (Mostly, with bursaries giving you enough to live on.) You and about 120,000 others, or 0.037 per cent of the population, spent your time at the free tertiary-education trough having free thoughts and free love, building a picture of ‘radical’ students sticking it to ‘the man’ that future generations would never live up to.

1960: Your young-adult years see you probably employed, with unemployment at just four per cent. Your job also sees you supported by a median weekly income of $875.93 (in today’s dollars).

1960: With no student debt, low rent, and high chances of being married, you’re well on your way to saving for a well-heeled slice of suburbia.

1960: With the median age of first marriage for women at just 20.8, and 22.9 for men, chances are you will quickly find love and join the 59.5 per cent of the population that are married. Those who didn’t feel the need to wed are few and far between, with only 3.85 per cent of people in a de facto relationship.

1960: As you were the first generation of young women with easy access to the pill, your reproductive control saw the birth rate drop to an all-time low of 1.8 children per woman. this didn’t stop most from increasing their chances of achieving MILF status, with the median age of mothers being a young 26 years old.

GEN Y (born 1990)

1990: Your mother, an average New Zealander at the time, only popped out 2.2 children. This meant more attention from your parents and having to buy fewer Christmas presents throughout your lifetime. As 12.3 per cent of marriages now ended in divorce there was a higher chance you would grow up in a ‘broken home’.

1990: The government only thought you and your classmates’ education was worth 16.1 per cent of their total expenditure.

1990: Your time at the education trough is a lot more crowded, with about 456,000 people or 0.1 per cent of the population also feeding. But this time around, you have to pay for the privilege! At a cost of around $13,000 per year, the tuition fees and living costs will probably be paid by future you, and are contributing to the current $13 billion of student debt by an extra billion dollars a year.

1990: Trying to get your foot into the workforce is a little harder than it was for your parents, with unemployment at 6.9 per cent. Fortunately Australia is three hours’ flight away, although there’s that awful ball and chain of a student loan. The $0.12 per $1 compulsory repayments are also making it hard to live a bourgeois lifestyle when the median weekly income is only $806.

1990: The high rents that are more than double what your parents had, and student debt that your parents never had, are making it hard to save for a deposit, let alone a house. Fortunately, some of our middle-class baby boomer parents are capitalising on the housing shortage, and our inheritances will be ever-larger. If life expectancy ever stops increasing that is.

1990: Those who liked it but didn’t feel the need to put a ring on it have surged, with 44.8 per cent of people in a de facto relationship, and only 11.8 per cent of people wed-locked. If you do decide to wed, you’ve usually left enough time to ‘find yourself’ and ‘try new things’, as the median age of marriage for women is 28.3; men, evidently, are more reluctant, with their age at 29.9.

1990: Ladies, you’re most likely not going to pop any out until you’re in your early 30s. This is probably due to a number of reasons, such as the competitive nature of the career ladder, the limited amount of willing fathers, that student loan, or the ease of access to contraception and morning-after pills. Though if you do start a family, you will probably have about two children.

 

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About the Author ()

Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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