Everyone’s been getting in a tizz about the census, but what about the survey that really matters?
That’s right, it’s triple j’s What’s up in your world? survey, or WUIYW for short.
About 3,000 of you jumped in to answer the questions, but we’re particularly interested in the responses of the 18 to 29-year-olds.
And they’ve got THOUGHTS.
When it comes to the environment, they’re feeling pretty despondent both about the planet’s future and their ability to have an impact on climate change.
But while young people are feeling more negative about the future, under 30s are opening up more about their sexuality and mental health.
Let’s unpack it!
When it comes to the environment they’re not feeling great … at all
91 per cent of people who filled out the survey said they feel negatively about Earth’s future.
And more than half of that group kicked it up a notch, saying they felt extremely negative about what lies in store for the planet.
That feeling has been growing every time we’ve done a WUIYW survey since 2018 and fair tbh, given that climate change is already hitting us pretty frequently.
Young people are also changing their minds on whether they can personally make a difference to climate change.
60 per cent of respondents thought they could in 2018, now that is less than half of those who filled out the survey, although climate change was ranked as the most important issue facing our generation.
So, is anyone feeling good about whether we can get the environment back on track?
Well, shout out to the 1 per cent of you who are feeling positive about the earth’s future.
The girls, the gays and the theys
In better news than the collapse of our planet, more young people are identifying as queer!
And in particular, there’s been a jump in the number of folks who identify as being in the Bi+ community.
Since 2018, there has been a 10 per cent jump in the number of folks identifying as bisexual, exciting news for both the community and also retailers of cuffed jeans.
On top of those numbers, 4 per cent of people who filled out the WUIYW identified as pansexual, 7 per cent as gay or lesbian and 2 per cent as asexual.
There were a few differences along gender lines when it came to those putting their hand up as bi.
13 per cent of people who identified as male said they were bi, and 24 per cent of those who listed their gender as female said so too.
In our previous surveys we found that a lot of bi guys were a bit more apprehensive about coming out.
In fact in 2018, the WUIYW responses showed that young guys who identified as bi were the least likely to have come out.
And we know biphobia is still rampant in the community, with nearly half of respondents to the ABC’s Australia Talks survey saying they wouldn’t date a bisexual person.
More people are asking for help with their mental health
Way more of the young people surveyed (70 per cent) said COVID has impacted their mental health than in 2020 (56 per cent).
But there is a bright side when it comes to what we discovered about mental health in these results — three quarters of respondents said they asked for help, an increase on previous years.
If they did seek help for mental health issues, depression was more commonly mentioned than anxiety — a switch from 2020.
But what about politics?
Even though we’re losing faith in politicians78 per cent are either interested or very interested in politics — proving that older generations who say young people don’t care about politics completely incorrect.
Young people absolutely care about politics and the number of those who care about it has been climbing.
Just before the federal election in 2019, 68 per cent of folks who filled out the survey said they were slightly or very interested in politics and now that number has jumped up 10 per cent.
And they’re not just interested, they’re having an impact.
Before this year’s federal electionHack analyzed which seats had the highest proportion of young voters.
Three out of the top five seats in the list flipped from Labor or the Liberals to the Greens (all in Brisbane), and one remained Green (Adam Bandt’s electorate of Melbourne).
We also asked a bunch of questions about issues facing the community right now.
An overwhelming majority of respondents know racism is a problem in Australia (90 per cent) but views on that did seem to be a bit different along gender lines.
97 per cent of young women who responded said they think racism is a big problem in Australia, whereas 79 per cent of male respondents thought the same.
Did you think you’d made it to the end of a triple j Hack story without a mention of drugs and pill testing?
SIKE as if.
Ok, so, we didn’t ask about pill testing *this* time but we DID ask about what drug they’re taking.
Of the 71 per cent of young people who have done illegal drugs in the past 12 months, their top three choices were weed, cocaine and MDMA/ecstasy.
METHODOLOGY: triple j conducted a 20-minute online quantitative survey of its audience across Australia in April, 2022. A total of 1,645 18-29-year-olds responded. The data has not been weighted to reflect the general population but is natural fall out of age, gender and location.