People in their twenties are starting a family, getting a permanent job and buying a house much later

According to figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), people in their twenties are doing things much later than they were ten years ago. They are leaving home later, studying longer and are less likely to have a permanent job.

With most of the milestones of adult life, people in their twenties are doing them much later. We are leaving home, living with a partner, having a child, having a permanent job, buying a house later and also studying longer – which to me (I’m in my mid-twenties), is not surprising.

According to the CBS, the biggest change has been with the age in which we secure permanent jobs. In 2008, half all 24-year-olds had a permanent job, however, in 2018 this was half of all 27-year-olds. One of the main reasons for this is because they are studying later and are pursuing professional or university education (many jobs ask for this these days). A flexible working environment is also a lot more popular, especially here in the Netherlands.

(Many can relate)


People are leaving their parental home later (and not starting their own)

More and more people in their twenties are staying at home. According to CBS, in 2008, half of 22 year olds no longer lived at home. In 2018 it was half of 23 year olds. I still personally know plenty of people in their mid-twenties who still live at home, mainly because they simply can’t afford to move out (or they want to save).

When it comes to leaving the parental home, they less likely to purchase their own house. In 2008, 26% of 22-year-olds who had left home owned their own house, whereas in 2017 it dropped to 14%. According to CBS, the reason for this is due to their earnings (entering the job market later), stricter mortgage rules and also because house prices have risen sharply. There’s no doubt that the housing situation is causing a lot of anxiety for many of us in our twenties and we are putting it off until we are more secure.

Marriage and children

People in the twenties are also getting married and having children later than in 2008. According to CBS, for women, there was a rise from the average age of 30 years old to 31.5 years old (2008-2018). For men, there was a rise from 32.8 years old to 33.9 years old in the same period. Women are also having children later too. The average age that they have their first child in 2009 was 29.4 years old, whereas in 2019 it was 29.9 years old. In 2008, 20% of women had at least one child by the time they were 25. Now it’s just 15%.

We’re just not ready for this yet… 😉

All jokes aside, a lot of us are struggling out there right now and it’s delaying many milestones that could or should be done slightly earlier. These are changing times though and things are different, but there are lots of issues with people in their twenties finding their feet and it’s certainly not getting any easier – the issues are there and they are very real.

Any thoughts? Let us know in the comments.

Emma Brown
A familiar face at DutchRevew. Emma arrived in Holland in 2016 for a few weeks, fell in love with the place and never left. Here she rekindled her love of writing and travelling. Now you'll find her eating stroopwafels in the DutchReview office since 2017.


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