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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