Hard-up under-40s resent funding their better-off elders, says Australian report It may not degenerate into brawling in the streets, but Australia has been warned to expect growing social rifts as a gap emerges between affluent baby boomers and struggling Generation X-ers. Economic planners are worried that Australians under 40 - the so-called Generation X - will increasingly resent having to foot the bill for pensions and health care at a time when the older generation is benefiting from far greater personal wealth. Of particular concern is that Australians in their 20s and 30s are finding it hard to break into the booming property market, while older people are reaping the rewards of owning their own home. The warning comes in a report released yesterday by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling. The centre's director, Ann Harding, said members of Generation X were struggling to accumulate wealth compared to their 'baby-boomer' parents, who were born soon after the second world war. 'The young have been missing out in the wealth stakes to the old,' Professor Harding said. 'If we look at people aged between 25 and 39, or Generation X, their share of wealth used to be about 27 per cent of the total pie and now it's down to 19 per cent.' In 1989, almost 65 per cent of Australians aged between 25 and 39 had managed to buy their first home, compared to 54 per cent now, she said. The report found that members of Generation X were deferring the decision to start a family because of concerns over paying off education loans and their inability to buy a first home. While the population is not ageing as quickly as some European countries, the number of Australians over 65 will double within 40 years. In contrast, the overall population will have grown by only a quarter. Unless Australia can boost its economic growth by 0.5 per cent each year, the costs of the ageing population will continue to mount. The report echoed concerns voiced last week by the governor of Australia's Reserve Bank, Ian Macfarlane, over the potential for inter-generational conflict. 'The young may resent the tax burden imposed on them to pay for pension and health expenditure on the old,' Mr Macfarlane told a business conference. 'This will particularly be the case if they see the old as owning most of the community's assets. Housing is the most obvious example, where people of my generation have benefited from 30 years of asset price inflation, while new entrants to the workforce struggle to buy their first home.' Australia's seemingly unstoppable property boom has led to increasing frustration among young house hunters, particularly in Melbourne and Sydney.