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Young people taking longer to find homes, jobs and families

THE NETHERLANDS. People in their twenties are taking longer to reach key milestones such as getting their first job and leaving their parents’ home, according to the statistics agency CBS.

Half of all 27-year-olds had a permanent job in 2017, compared to half of all 24-year-olds in 2008, CBS found in a comparative study. Couples in their 20s are less likely to move in together and start families than a decade ago. The proportion of 29-year-olds with children fell from 43.4% of women and 24% of men to 40.5% and 22% over the decade.

Higher rents and reforms to higher education finance that mean students graduate with larger debts have also meant young people leave home later. In 2008 89.1% of women and 73.5% of men were living independently by the age of 26, while in 2018 these figures had fallen to 84.3% and 70.3% respectively.

A more positive development was the narrowing of the gap between men and women. More women are going into graduate training, meaning they are landing their first jobs later than a decade ago, but at roughly the same age as men on average.

The number of twentysomethings owning property also declined, even though house prices in 2008 were at their pre-crisis peak. Six out of ten 28-year-olds who had left home had bought a house a decade ago, compared to 50% in 2017.

Researcher Tanja Traag told NOS the figures indicated that the ambitions of twentysomethings had changed over the last decade. ‘People want to develop in different ways, such as going on a round-the-world trip with their partner before they take the next step. ‘People’s expectations are constantly rising, which means it takes longer to find a job or a house that fulfils them.’

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