Over half of Malta’s young people – 60 per cent – are “very concerned” about inflation, a survey by EY has found, with almost three quarters once again saying they would rather live outside Malta.
The EY Generate Youth Survey, published on Friday, sheds light on the views of the so-called millennials and Gen-Zs. Millennials are aged between 26 and 39 while Gen-Zs are aged between 16 and 25.
According to the survey, while millennials are more capable of keeping up with rising costs when compared to Gen-Zs, both cohorts are “very concerned” about inflation.
To reduce costs, half of Gen-Zs plan to eat out less and increase their income to keep up. Similarly, 55 per cent of millennials also plan to eat out less while almost half of them will be switching to lower-priced brands when shopping.
The majority of Malta’s young people – 89 per cent – also said they do not believe Malta’s wages compare positively to global salaries.
Money problems are clearly taking a toll on young people, the survey showed, with the findings suggesting the top anxiety factors for Maltese youths are financial and career pressures.
Still, younger people hold a brighter outlook on their financial future, as 49 per cent of Gen-Z believe they will be in a better situation next year, 30 per cent believe they will be in the same position. Millennials share the same thought, with 41 per cent hoping for better.
Meanwhile, questioned on their views on property, the two age groups had significantly different views. While almost half of the younger cohort said they do not feel they will be able to buy property in the future, 49 per cent of millennials said they already own a property.
And when asked where they would rather live and work, 72 per cent of Gen-Zs and 77 per cent of millennials said they would rather live abroad, with better employment and salaries being the main reasons behind such a view. The figure is the same as the 2021 for the Gen-Zs respondents but up from 74 per cent for millennials.
The younger group have “a hunger for new experiences and feel a constraint in Malta’s size” while millennials give greater priority to being in a space that is quieter and more relaxing than “contemporary Malta”, the EY survey found.
While 35 per cent of Gen-Z and 33 per cent of millennials responded that they would return to Malta, another 35 per cent of Gen-Z and 38 per cent of millennials are still uncertain.
Almost three quarters of Malta’s youth said the island’s biggest challenge is overdevelopment, a concern that EY found has worsened by nine percentage points since last year’s survey.
Concern over traffic issues has also spiked significantly in recent months, going up 24 percentage points in the latest survey when compared to the previous year. Now, half of Malta’s young people see traffic as a challenge that needs to be addressed.
The survey was conducted among 718 people, with 50 per cent being males, 49 per cent females and one per cent being gender neutral. Of the 718, 40 per cent were from the Gen-Z group while 60 per cent were millennials.
It was conducted between September 30 and October 31.
Ronald Attard, EY Malta country managing partner, said: “Our youths appreciate that our country has a lot to offer but are mindful of many factors that they think we can do better, including sustainability and caring for our environment. In this year’s edition, it is evident that inflation is very topical and youths are concerned.”