28 February 2017

Can you relate to life as a 20-something?

Known often as the 'millennials' or 'Generation Y', today's 20-somethings are digital natives with a reputation for pushing boundaries and disturbing the status quo.

But what is it really like to be in your 20's during the age of austerity? And how has the increased debt burden, cost of housing and pressure to save impacted their lives?

Last year, we delved deep into the habits of 30-somethings, 40-somethings, people in their sixties and those over 70. Now we're taking a look at the younger generation to discover what life in Britain is like for people in their 20s.

20 something infographic

Money matters

This is the age when many people are starting their careers, so it's not surprising that the average 20-something earns around £19,186.40, over £9,000 less than the national average. 

Only 4% of people in this age group earn an income of over £40,000, and 20% remain unemployed. Those who do have a job are usually chasing money more than pursuing a passion, with only 27% fortunate enough to be on their chosen career path.

The majority went to university and have considerably more debt than those who didn't - an average of £20,514.86 compared to £4,720.66, excluding mortgages. Generally, 20-somethings have a disposable income of £210.07 to play with each month. Saving money and having enough money to live on are big concerns for this age group. 

Living situations

Over a quarter of 20-somethings live with their families, with more than half still living in the town where they grew up. Only 5% live alone in either rented or owned accommodation, while 22% rent with their significant other.

Around one in five 20-somethings own their own property with a partner, and 32% say they are currently saving for a mortgage deposit.

More than one in five say they met their partner through a dating app or social media.

Lifestyle choices

Contrary to popular belief, today's 20-somethings don't spend their free time and savings on international travel. The majority go abroad just once a year, with less than a quarter going on holiday twice or more annually.

People in this age group like to use Facebook to stay in touch with friends, spending an average of two hours a day on social media, and often choose to socialise at home. Less than half meet friends in pubs or bars and a whopping 66% never go to clubs.

On a night in, you'll find 20-somethings watching Big Bang Theory, Great British Bake Off, Harry Potter or classic chick flicks such as Bridget Jones' Diary and Mean Girls, which they either stream online or watch on demand. Less than a quarter watch their favourite programmes via live TV.

When it comes to music, Ed Sheeran and Adele are firm favourites, with Beyoncé and Taylor Swift coming in close behind.

The typical 20-something

Relationship status: In a relationship (living together) or single
Salary: £19,186.40
Car: Vauxhall Corsa, Ford Fiesta
Hobbies and Interests: Socialising, TV, eating out

Research conducted by OnePoll for Nationwide, with a sample of 2000 adults aged 20-29 in September 2017.

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