As they come of age, what’s important to Australian Millennials?

Our recent project The Next Normal: Rise of Resilience spanned 28,600 people aged 6 to 54 across 32 countries, including Australia. Here are the key findings from an analysis of Australians aged 16 to 34:

They worry about achieving their dreams. Compared with the overall Australian population, Millennials are more likely to say they don’t always manage to live up to their own expectations (76% age 16 to 34, 69% age 9 to 54). They’re significantly more likely to believe that fear of failure sometimes stops them from doing things (81% age 16 to 34, 65% age 9 to 54). Some look beyond Australia’s borders, with close to a third (31%) feeling that life would be better if they lived in another country. Personal security is a particular concern for older Millennials, with 38% of 25- to 34-year-olds feeling less safe than 5 years ago – compared with 23% among 16- to 24-year-olds.

Music and humor help them keep stress in check. Listening to music is Australian Millennials’ go-to activity when they want to unwind. It’s an escape and a way to release inner emotions – 80% love listening to the same song over and over, 75% are inspired by music, and 56% love to dance alone in their room. Humor also helps them get by, with 53% saying they use humor to achieve things in life.

In spite of their anxieties, they’re up for challenges that may arise. The vast majority of Australian Millennials are optimistic, with 83% saying they always look for the positive. Two-thirds (65%) believe they’re equipped to deal with whatever life throws at them. Their self-descriptions reflect this resilience – they’re much more likely to say they’re happy (73%) than stressed (31%). They’re also more likely than Australians overall to believe their age group has the potential to change the world for the better (79% age 16 to 34, 73% age 6 to 54).

They value authenticity and honesty. Being who they really are is important to Australian Millennials – 88% describe themselves as “keeping it real.” This sentiment is stronger among the older half of this age segment, with agreement from 90% of 25- to 34-year-olds (compared with 86% of 16- to 24-year-olds). The majority (89%) also say they’re true to the people they’re closest to – again with higher agreement among 25- to 34-year-olds (91%).

They believe everyone deserves respect. Most Australian Millennials (88%) think everyone should be treated with respect regardless of their race, religion or sexual orientation. In keeping with that opinion, 81% say that transgender people should have the same rights as everyone else.