Why Are So Many People in Their 20s Taking So Long to Grow Up?

by / ⠀Startup Advice / August 31, 2010

Photo: via NY Times

A study done recently showed that today’s generation is taking longer then ever to reach what traditionally is defined as adulthood. An article in the New York Times covered this study and tried to figure out why this generation is growing up so slowly.

The article shows some interesting facts ” The 20s are a black box, and there is a lot of churning in there. One-third of people in their 20s move to a new residence every year. Forty percent move back home with their parents at least once. They go through an average of seven jobs in their 20s, more job changes than in any other stretch. Two-thirds spend at least some time living with a romantic partner without being married. And marriage occurs later than ever. The median age at first marriage in the early 1970s, when the baby boomers were young, was 21 for women and 23 for men; by 2009 it had climbed to 26 for women and 28 for men, five years in a little more than a generation.”

It then goes on to say “We’re in the thick of what one sociologist calls “the changing timetable for adulthood.” Sociologists traditionally define the “transition to adulthood” as marked by five milestones: completing school, leaving home, becoming financially independent, marrying and having a child.”

Now it doesn’t say this is a bad thing, maybe it is more natural. But many people are trying to figure out why this is happening. I think it is pretty simple. Today’s generation has more options and realizes that there is a lot more to experience in life than the “five milestones of adulthood”. People simply desire more and have the ability to get more out of life. Research and travel is easier then ever to find new experiences, jobs and opportunities anywhere in the world.

I think this “changing timetable for adulthood” will lead to a happier and more fulfilled generation of people. A generation with few regrets and a million memories.

What do you think?


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About The Author

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on Under30CEO.com, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.

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