- 104 young people responded to a COVID-19 survey designed to measure their pandemic experience.
- The survey, operated through Senator Dean Smith’s Facebook page, asked them to compare their concerns and priorities pre and following COVID-19.
- While climate change remained the greatest overall concern, the biggest change was increasing anxiety over jobs and unemployment.
The results are in from Senator Dean Smith’s COVID-19 Gen Z Survey, which closed recently after running from mid-July.
The survey was aimed at 18-21 year olds from Perth’s Northern Suburbs and 73% of those who responded were from that part of the city.
64% of respondents were female and 33% were male.
Senator for Perth’s Northern Suburbs Dean Smith and UWA post-graduate student Jake Harvey, who is an intern in the Senator’s office, designed the survey questions.
“This was a way of learning more about and better understanding how the pandemic has affected young people in the Northern Suburbs,“ Senator Smith said.
“It has been wonderful to receive so many responses and get a genuine insight into what local 18-21 year olds are thinking.”
“Our aim was to give young people a voice and this has achieved that, which helps me to better represent them here and in Canberra.”
Respondents were asked about their top three personal concerns and top three issues for Australia, both pre and following COVID-19.
Stress and mental health remained the two most significant personal concerns before and following the pandemic, however physical health replaced university fees in third place following COVID-19.
“This is evidence of the pandemic’s negative effect on the mental health of young people, as well as the emerging toll on physical health with gyms closed for extended periods,” Mr Harvey said.
When it came to national issues, climate change remained the top priority, but there was a significant increase in the importance of jobs as a result of COVID-19.
36% of respondents rated jobs as the biggest issue for Australia pre-COVID-19, jumping to 66% following COVID-19.
“The frequency in which jobs has been selected as a top concern has nearly doubled, supporting the data that suggests young people in particular have been badly affected by pandemic job losses,” Mr Harvey said.