Young Kiwis cling to carefree youth

NZ Herald Aug 29, 2009

Young New Zealanders are postponing the usual commitments of adulthood, just like their international contemporaries in what has been called the “Peter Pan generation”. A study has found that “Generation Y” Kiwis aged 20 to 24 are more likely to be still studying and living at home with their parents, and less likely to be working or living with partners, than preceding generations of young people born 10, 20 and 30 years earlier.

Legal marriage has almost disappeared in the age group and religious affiliation has almost halved. But welfare dependence and sole parenting, which peaked when the previous “Generation X” reached adulthood amid record postwar unemployment between 1985 and 1999, have declined among today’s youth as jobs again became easier to find in the first years of this century.