New Survey Reveals More Aussies Are Foregoing Marriage And Choosing De Facto Relationships Instead

Have you ever wondered just how much the average Aussie has changed in a generation?

Ever wondered who lives at home more, who benefits most from breakups, or who works when sick and who crumbles?

Well HILDA - the Household, Income & Labour Dynamics In Australia Survey - is here to answer your questions.

It's the survey that’s tracked more than 17,000 people from the same 9,000 households for 20 years.

And HILDA has some news.

First up, fewer of us are getting married. 

The proportion of Aussies tying the knot dropped about six per cent over the last 20 years, mirrored by a growth in de facto relationships which has gone up eight per cent. 

But, while de facto couples are becoming more common, they’re also more likely to separate.

And while being in a relationship is better on the hip pocket, becoming newly single is worse for women, with their income dropping by nearly 17 per cent, and men dropping just 0.2 per cent.

HILDA also found the share of 18 to 29-year-olds still living at home has surged and is now at record levels. 

Men are not only more likely to stay in the family nest but more likely to return if they leave.

Young people are also the most lonely, with almost half of 15 to 24-year-olds being psychologically distressed, more than double 20 years ago and coinciding with the arrival of social media.

But there was a positive change too. The gender pay gap is narrowing at its fastest rate in 20 years. 

Women are now earning 86 cents for every dollar taken home by a man.

Behind this glimmer of hope? 

Men have spent more time looking after the kids and doing housework, but women still spend 75 per cent more time on chores and childcare than their male partners.  

Women, not only do most of the housework, they are also more likely to work when they’re unwell, too. 

HILDA also kindly revealed that Aussies are smoking less but taking more drugs and are still into binge drinking.