Some might say that life begins at 30, but a new study by Kinder Bueno finds the typical Brit would love to permanently remain at the age of 29 if they could.



This notable age was identified by Kinder Bueno[i] as part of an in-depth cross generational study into what being a ‘grown-up’ means to different generations.

Despite 18 being the official milestone for adulthood, the research shows Brits haven’t fully mastered the art of being a true grown-up until the age of 26 – five years later than the generation who passed this same stage 50 years ago.

The research reveals two thirds of adults (66 per cent) think life is far too short to be sensible all the time, with a quarter (25 per cent) saying their parents were no more sensible than they are at the same age.

The results also show that being an adult has moved on over the past 50 years and now means doing your own washing, remembering your parents’ birthdays and keeping a plant alive.

This is in contrast to 50 years ago, when being an adult meant getting married, paying your bills and providing for your family, according to the new study.

Brits now believe drinking wine rather than shots is a sign that you’ve become a grown-up, as does paying for your car insurance, having your own mug in the office and changing into your pyjamas as soon as you get home.

Making your own bed in the morning and holding onto a relationship for longer than six months are also sure-fire signs of being a fully-fledged adult in 2017, the poll reveals.

Three in 10 adults (30 per cent) admit to phoning their parents to ask for help with everyday tasks such as washing clothes and cooking.

Even though 50 years have passed, it appears that cars still haven’t become any easier, with seven in 10 (72 per cent) people unable to change a car tyre.

Of those who have mastered the art of growing up, 40 per cent like to reward themselves for their successes, with those age 16 – 29 most likely to give themselves a treat or present (64 per cent).

A Ferrero spokesperson said: “Our research suggests that growing up milestones have moved on, with having a professional email address, an up-to-date CV and watching box-sets on a Friday night rather than going to the pub all referenced as signs you’ve mastered ‘adulting’ in 2017. “Thankfully there are some areas of adulthood that are no longer viewed as difficult, with just 4 per cent of respondents citing ‘boiling an egg’ as their most challenging task. We all know being a grown up can be tough in today’s modern world, so it’s brilliant to see people are rewarding themselves for their ‘adulting’ successes”

One thing that hasn’t changed too drastically is the age we typically leave the family home, with the average Brit reaching this milestone age 21 years. Paying our bills is also still considered a key adult skill, with paying your own bills being listed as an adult responsibility in both generations.

To help define the art of growing up, the survey asked respondents to select what being an adult means now compared to 50 years ago.

Top adult responsibilities 50 years ago: 

  1. Providing for your family
  2. Paying your bills
  3. Being in full-time employment
  4. Getting married
  5. Owning a house
  6. Being able to fix things around the house
  7. Never being late for work
  8. Being able to cook a meal for you and several friends/family members
  9. Considering neighbours as friends
  10. Owning a car 

10 Signs you've mastered adulting in 2017

  1. Being in a permanent job
  2. Paying for your own holidays
  3. Paying for your own car insurance
  4. Doing your own washing
  5. Having a relationship that lasts longer than six months
  6. Being able to drive
  7. Having a credit card
  8. Having a sensible email address
  9. Having an up to date CV
  10. Going on holiday with your partner 

[i] Research carried out by Kinder Bueno and Ginger Comms, among 1,524 UK men and women aged 18-81 ( August 2017)