New stats show over two thirds of millennials earn more than their parents did at the same age. 

Many adults are pessimistic about their children’s future. Data from the Pew Global Attitudes Survey shows just 29 per cent of Australians believe children today will be better off financially than their parents.

This pessimism is common in developed nations. In Japan, just 13 per cent believe children will be better off, in France 16 per cent, in Britain 22 per cent. 

Australians are marginally less optimistic than Canadians (30 per cent) and Americans (31 per cent), and significantly less optimistic than Swedes (40 per cent) and Germans (48 per cent).

But a new study suggests things are not as bad as many fear, with 68 per cent of millennials (defined as those born between 1981 and 1987 for this research) earning more income than their parents did at the same age. 

This is close to the highest percentage among countries for which estimates are available.

But it is not all good news. That percentage is lower than the upward mobility enjoyed by baby boomers (born from 1946 to the early 1960s). For those born around 1950, 84 per cent earned more at age 30-34 than their own parents did at the same age.

The full study is accessible here.