The zip codes where loaded Gen Zs live in Australia

If you thought all young Aussies had a hard time, you’re wrong. These are the suburbs across Australia where Gen Z is bringing it in.

Yes, the old are richer than the young. That is the great lesson of the census.

Australian youth usually do not have large incomes. They study, start and scurry past.

But in a handful of places, young people are going against that trend. There are 18 year olds in Australia who earn more than three times the median income. They drive brand new cars, bought with their own savings.

Who Are These Gen Zs That Bank? Think craftsmen who finished their apprenticeship young and took over a business, sportsmen, actors, models, crypto entrepreneurs, rock stars, software-making prodigies with best-selling apps, and of course those who work in Mom and Dad’s business. (Or ‘work’ in Mom and Dad’s company for tax reasons).

The census gives us a great opportunity to provide actual figures on this phenomenon. We went looking for the places where the youngsters are loaded. This is what we found.

Australia

Let’s start at the highest level, and take a look around the country. If you make more than $3,000 a week in personal income and you are under 20, you probably don’t live in a major city. That’s what the map on the left tells us: 15- to 19-year-olds with the highest incomes usually live on the land, some of whom may be the children of successful farming families, who share in the income of the farm.

The map in the middle tells a different story – areas where many local 20- to 24-year-olds are loaded are mostly mining areas.

If you talk to someone in their 20s and 24s who tells you they live in East Pilbara, there’s a decent chance they made over $3,000 this week.

You have to do something else to make that much money at that age – the typical young Australian – who lives in a city – is rare for that kind of income.

But as people get older, earning more than $3,000 a week becomes a little less exceptional. In fact, if you’re in a coffee shop in the Sydney suburb of Double Bay, I wouldn’t brag about money—nearly 20 percent of 25-34 year-olds earn $3,000 a week—and more.

Sydney is a very wealthy place – looking at the age group on the right, eight of the top 10 areas for wealthy young people are within Sydney.

If you want to live in the kind of place where you take a ferry to work and nod to Malcolm Turnbull in the IGA, you’ve got to make an awful lot of money.

But what about Australia’s other cities? The cards below tell the story. Please note, in these maps the color scheme is adapted to each city. Colors can be compared between age groups for a single city, but not between cities.

Melbourne

Melbourne shows a similar pattern to Australia.

Wealthy 15-19 year olds are scattered across the country, some living with parents who may not be wealthy themselves. But rich 25- to 34-year-olds huddle together in the expensive suburbs.

When we talk about rich young people living in big cities – especially Melbourne – we should mention football. Some of the wealthy 15- to 19-year-olds that appear on the map above must be high draft AFL picks. Top young players can earn more than $150,000 in their second year at a club.

Many of Melbourne’s wealthy 20-24 year olds would commute to work out, not to

office.

The city has half the AFL teams in the country (i.e. about 325 players) and 75 percent of the players earn more than $200,000 a year. AFL has more players per team and a slightly higher average wage than Rugby League, so footballers make up more young rich in Melbourne than Sydney.

Brisbane

Brisbane also has rich footballers. But when it comes to sports earnings, none of them can touch Ash Barty.

Barty was 25 at the time of the 2021 census, and if she happened to be briefly in her hometown of Brisbane between the Olympics and her US Open, she could have filled the census with a staggering income figure. Her 2021 Wimbledon title alone was worth $3 million.

Darwin

Darwin only scores two cards because there were no 15-19 year olds with the big bucks.

Berrimah is the place to live for wealthy top-enders.

Hobart

Hobart is a spectacular city with a beautiful waterfront, just like Sydney.

Where it differs is in income. The part of Hobart with the richest young people is Howrah – Tranmere, where the proportion of young people who are fraught with it is only a fraction of the proportion in Sydney’s wealthiest suburb.

On the other hand, the price of a house with a view of the water in Tranmere is a fraction of the price of an apartment without a view in Darling Point in Sydney, so maybe it will be even.

Perth

Perth’s money gets closer to the water as it ages. Some of those well-earning young people may not live in Perth all the time – it could be in-flight out-flying workers (FIFO) who struggle for a week or two in a dusty donga and then take it easy in Mandurah for a week or two .

canberra

Bruce is where the Australian Institute of Sport is. I suspect a Nike sponsored pro athlete is responsible for the little bit of young rich in that part of the ACT.

The older, young rich are likely civil servants with rapidly advancing careers and part-time jobs to supplement their incomes (the maximum wage in 2021 was $154,000 for level two executives, which is as high as a young person can hope to get in public service. Above that is the senior executive service, 99 percent of which are really over the age of 34.

Adelaide

Adelaide shows the pattern of a wide dispersion of very young, high-income people, and a tight-knit group of suburbs where wealthy 25-34 year-olds congregate.

Elizabeth North’s appearance on the list of places where wealthy 20- to 24-year-olds live is noteworthy, as the suburb is one of the least affluent in Australia.

You can’t rule out young people making stupid jokes with the census form, but I hope it means people are disbanding themselves.

Sydney

Sydney was discussed above. Money flows to the eastern edge. Sport is part of it, finances probably a bigger part.

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