ACYP report 'It should be easier to just exist': How children and young people are impacted by and responding to the rising cost of living in NSW

The rising cost of living has been an area of concern across government, media, and among communities for several years. This is echoed in the views and experiences of children and young people across NSW. In ACYP’s 2023 polling, cost of living became the number one issue for children and young people aged 10 – 24 years in NSW for the first time, with over a third (35%) mentioning this issue unprompted – up from just 8% in 2021. It is also the top area that young people would like to see more support from the NSW Government.

The ACYP team embarked on a project focused on understanding the ways that children and young people are impacted by and coping with increasing cost of living pressures in NSW, and identifying solutions that government, business and community can implement to address these experiences.

ACYP’s report 'It should be easier to just exist: How children and young people are impacted by and responding to the rising cost of living in NSW', demonstrates that children and young people are having to compromise on choices that relate to their housing, their health, their education and their physical wellbeing. This final consultation report builds on an earlier interim quantitative report, and includes qualitative and quantitative data drawn from mixed-methods engagement with over 2,000 children and young people across NSW.

The report provides an important overview of the specific pressures that children, young people and their families are facing in the following areas: groceries, healthcare, housing, education, employment, transport, childcare and experience of debt. The findings highlight a confronting reality where young people are being forced to change their aspirations and sacrifice their health, wellbeing, education, and social connections due to the rising cost of living. These pressures are even more stark for those young people who are already experiencing vulnerability and doing it tough.

As you read this report, have front of mind the incredible children and young people who participated in this work. Not only did they share their honest thoughts, they bravely walked us through their lives. Some of the most vulnerable young people gave their voice and experience to this work.


Download the report


Cost of living report video