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The rise of the Peter Pan generation


Brits are refusing to grow up with nearly a third of the so-called Peter Pan generation still living at home, according to exclusive research by

Teenagers eating a meal with the family

The study found that 32 per cent of Brits aged between 25 and 39 are still living with their parents.

And it seems that most of these stay-at-home adults are far from ready to move on, with 27 per cent admitting they lack even the basic skills to live on their own. 

Sheer laziness

But it’s not the high cost of renting or saving for a house deposit that is keeping these Brits at home - it is sheer laziness.

The poll of 2,000 18 to 39-year-olds found that among stay-at-home Brits, two of the most popular reasons for living with parents include getting their meals cooked for them and having someone else clean up after them.

But these Peter Pan adults could be in for a sharp shock as 19 per cent of parents with adult children at home admit they would prefer their offspring to be living elsewhere.

No responsibility please, we’re British

Sociologist, author and commentator, Professor Frank Furedi, says the aspiration to become independent adults has diminished among young Brits.

"Contrary to conventional explanations, in most cases it is not economic hardship that is responsible for the stay-at-home culture.

"The infantilisation of popular culture fosters a climate where being a grown-up is represented as a turn-off.

"It is not the spirit of youthful adventure but the fear of adult responsibility that motivates the stay-at-home culture.

"This response is an expression of a risk-averse orientation to life. The fear of growing up expresses a reluctance to experiment and embrace new experiences."

Key milestones delay

The rise of the Peter Pan generation has also seen a delay in many people achieving key milestones such as getting married and having children.

The average age for tying the knot now stands at 34 for women and 36 for men – a rise of almost a decade for both sexes over the past 40 years.

Meanwhile, the average age of starting a family currently stands at 30.

It’s no wonder that 36 per cent of Brits feel they are lagging behind their parents’ progression into adulthood.

Planning for tomorrow

Matt Lloyd, head of life insurance at, says being young at heart doesn’t mean
avoiding planning for tomorrow.

"What we recommend to people in their twenties, is to start thinking now to see what they could be doing to make proper provisions for the future.

"Starting a savings account and pension plan and putting in place life insurance are just some of the basics that can make a big difference to people’s financial security.

"It’s really not as complicated or as daunting as people think."

Are you one of the Peter Pan generation?

Click the link to take you to the Real Age Calculator.

Complete a few questions to find out if you’re one of the Peter Pan generation or maybe even older than you thought!


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