Wednesday 17 January 2018

We wait until 25 to fly the nest - but men savour home comforts more than women

Aideen Sheehan

Aideen Sheehan

Irish people are waiting until they reach 25 before they fly the nest and get their own place.

And the attentions of the Irish mammy seem to make it even harder for men to give up their home comforts, as they're nearly two years older than women when they finally move out.

A new study by Eurostat reveals Irish men typically wait until they're 26.5 years old to find their own place, whereas women move out at an average age of 24.8 years.

Our reluctance to give up home comforts contrasts with the situation in Scandinavia, where young people are barely out of their teens when they move out of the home. However, we're a lot more independent than in some southern countries, including Italy, Croatia and Greece, where young people wait until they're in their thirties to get their own pad; and we're slightly younger than the EU average of 26.1.

Staying longer at home is a distinctly 21st century trend, Eurostat notes, as the age of independence soared by more than five years between 2000 and 2004.


The 'Being Young in Europe Today' study also reveals how the baby boom of recent years means Ireland has by far the youngest population in the EU.

More than a million people here - some 22pc of the population - are under 15, compared with just 13.1pc in Germany and an EU average of 15.6pc.

Our youthful bloom is set to fade slightly over the next few decades, however - but with a predicted 20pc aged under 15 by 2050, we'll still have the most juvenile population in a greying Europe.

Ireland also has the highest proportion of couples with children, at 29pc of all households; and it has the fourth highest proportion of lone parent families at 6.8pc.

The report also highlighted how nearly one in five single-parent families in Ireland were in arrears on monthly bills.

The publication highlights key trends among young people in the EU on issues ranging from health to family, education, jobs and living conditions.

It shows young people in Europe are extremely digitally connected, with nine out of 10 aged between 16-29 using the internet every day, compared with 65pc of the general population.

Almost three-quarters use smartphones to access the internet, compared with less than half the total population, and they're also much more likely to make phone calls online.

Some 82pc of young people in Europe are active on social networks.

Meanwhile, Irish teenagers are less likely than most Europeans to have smoked cannabis in the past 12 months, though 13pc of 15 to 16-year-olds had at least once.

When it came to alcohol, 43pc of Irish 15 to 16-year-olds had been drunk in the last year, with 7pc saying this had happened at least 10 times, which was above average in the EU.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News