NAB Wellbeing Index: 40% of Australians feeling highly anxious – with young women most affected



Australia’s wellbeing is at its lowest point in three years with young women amongst those most affected according to NAB’s most recent Wellbeing Index.

The survey revealed significant differences in the reasons impacting wellbeing among different groups with young women, who typically report the highest levels of anxiety across all demographic groups, identifying general finances, lack of time and events such as abuse as key detractors from wellbeing.

On balance only 13 per cent of young women aged between 18 and 29 said that mental wellbeing contributed positively to their overall wellbeing, a rate significantly lower than that of the general population (36 per cent).

In terms of overall wellbeing, the survey of more than 2,000 Australians found that women between the ages of 18 and 29 on balance rate general finances and money as an overall detractor from wellbeing compared to the average population, with results showing a 16 per cent difference between the two groups.

Looking at the population overall, Australians are recording an improvement in their satisfaction with life despite forty per cent reporting feeling highly anxious – the highest level since the survey began – suggesting that they may be finding ways of coping with heightened anxiety.

NAB Group Executive Michaela Healey observed that the stark 23 per cent difference in the contribution mental wellbeing makes to the lives of young women compared with the general population was disturbing.

There is considerable opportunity to do more to improve wellbeing, especially of young women. Initiatives that address financial empowerment, managing career and other commitments, and family violence have a unique role to play” Ms Healey said.

“Pay equality is just a start. We need to give women the confidence to take control of their finances and develop positive relationships with money. This could make a demonstrable difference in reducing anxiety – particularly among young women” Ms Healey said.

“Initiatives that foster this behavioural change, such as NAB’s Start Counting program, and provision of safe and accessible finance, can have a profound impact on improving women’s attitudes to and relationships with money. Focusing on these, together with policies and processes that address important issues such as family violence and abuse, and flexible work arrangements that give women greater control of their time together have the potential to significantly reduce anxiety for young women in particular.”

“While there is no “one size fits all” solution – there are clear indicators of where to focus to improve wellbeing of young women.”

Read the most recent Wellbeing Report Q4 2015.

About the NAB Quarterly Australian Wellbeing Index
The NAB Quarterly Australian Wellbeing Index was launched in April 2013 in conjunction with the NAB Quarterly Australian Consumer Anxiety Index with the aim of assessing perceptions of wellbeing and consumer stress.

Subjective wellbeing measures can play an important role in supplementing traditional economic measures of national income and activity. The NAB Australian Wellbeing Index provides a snapshot of how more than 2,000 Australians perceive their own lives based on life satisfaction, life worth, happiness and anxiety.

The NAB Wellbeing Index is complemented by the NAB Consumer Anxiety Index which provides a subjective assessment of over 2,000 Australian’s own concerns about their future spending/savings plans arising from job security, health, retirement, cost of living and government policy.

About the NAB Start Counting Program
Start Counting is a behavioural change program that helps businesses empower their female employees to build strong money and life habits, benefiting their overall well-being.

The program equips women with the knowledge, tools and confidence they need to create the life they envision, understand their finances and acquire the tools needed for long-term positive behavioural change.

It’s about empowering women as they transition through their life stages and events.

For more information:




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