Nicholas Falconer

'Me' generation most likely to give time to help others

MUCH-maligned Gen Y, often referred to as the "me" generation, is Australia's most charitable generational group and is more likely to donate their time to worthy causes than their elders, new research suggests.

A Galaxy survey of more than 1000 Gen Ys - people aged 18-34 - found the group donated more than 192 million volunteer hours to charity each year worth $3.1 billion.

Interestingly, Galaxy also interviewed more than 500 Gen Xs and Baby Boomers for the research and found they viewed Gen Y as "self-centred" and "materialistic".

But the research , commissioned by Optus RockCorps, found 67% of Gen Ys had undertaken volunteer and community work compared with 62% of Gen Xs and 64% of Baby Boomers. Further, 96% of Gen Ys considered it important to actively contribute to society.

The research also found 94% of Australian Gen Ys had donated money to charity and one in five "dig deep" on a regular basis. 

When it comes to their careers it's more important for Gen Ys to feel like their personal and social values are reflected in the work they do (53%) than climbing the career ladder and earning lots of money (29%).

The release of the research kicks off a nationwide annual study examining youth community initiatives.