The younger half of the Irish population are bearing the main burden of the recession, a new report has claimed.
The ESRI study shows that under-45s are being hit hardest by unemployment and high levels of negative equity, leading to a sharp drop in spending by this age group.
Younger people are more likely to be unemployed, according to the 'Younger and Older Households in the Crisis' report, and are also more likely to have bought property at the height of the boom.
"If you look at the young households, they are the ones who have been hit by the main features of the crisis - so on the one hand that's unemployment, people have seen their income drop and correspondingly had to cut back on how much they spend" said the report's author Petra Gerlach.
"On the other hand, it's the younger households who bought at the top of the boom and who are stuck with negative equity - with their mortgages being worth more than their houses.
"And they try to get out of that by saving money on consumption and using that to pay back the debt, to deleverage."