Over the next year, from 24 to 25, many changes occurred- of which I will delve into shortly…but before I do that, I wanted to confirm that I am not completely crazy and that there were statistics to support this idea that a quarterlife crisis does exist. In my hunt for sanity and peace-of-mind, I stumbled across a few interesting statistics:
The following are documented statistics. Some of these statistics can be found in Amanda Robbins's book, Conquering Your Quarterlife Crisis: Advice From Twentysomethings Who Have Been There and Survived.
- 56.8% of men and 43.2% of women ages 22-31 live with their parents.
- 64% of 20 to 24 year-old men and 52% of 20 to 24 year-old women live with their parents. These numbers have been steadily rising since 1981.
- The number of young adults living at home has increased 50% since the 1970s.
- The average number of jobs a person has in his 20s has jumped to 8.6 jobs between the ages of 18 and 32.
- In a university poll, the majority of seniors surveyed believed they will have their first significant job within 3 months of leaving school. Two-thirds of them believe they will remain at their first job between 1-5 years.
- The average age of marriage has shifted from 21 for women and 23 for men in 1970 to 25 for women and 27 for men.
- In a major poll, 94% of never-married twentysomethings singles stated that their future spouse must be their soulmate; 87% believe they´ll find that person.
- Before age 17, one in three of today´s twentysomethings saw their parents divorce.
- We are the first generation not projected to do better financially than our parents.
- More than 40% of college students graduate owing more than $20,000 in student loans. Among students graduating with doctoral degrees, more than 60% have more than $30,000 in student-loan debt. Overall, 39% of students with loans graduate with "unmanageable debt," meaning loan payments that are more than 8% percent of monthly income.
- The number of bachelor's degrees awarded between 1987 and 1997 rose by 18 percent, the number of master's degrees by 45 percent and doctorates by 35 percent.
- About 80% of 18-34 year-olds have a high school degree, 61% have attended college, and 20% have an education level of at least a four-year college degree.
- Between 1960 and 2000, the percentage of Americans aged 20, 25, and 30 who were still enrolled in school more than doubled.
- In a 2005 poll of young adults between 18 and 29, just 32% of those who attended college graduated by age 21.
- In 1960, 77 percent of women and 65 percent of men had achieved what are considered the traditional hallmarks of adulthood: leaving home, graduating school, becoming financially independent, marrying, and having a child. In 2000, those numbers dropped to 46 percent of women and 31 percent of men.
- According to a poll, most Americans believe that "adulthood" begins at age 26. According to a poll specifically of collegeeducated Americans, being "grown-up" begins at 28 or 29.
- In 2000, there were 67 million Americans between 18 and 34.
- In 2003, there were 37.4 million Americans between 20 and 29.
- 41% of 20-29-year-olds say they feel significantly pressured or "almost more stress than they can bear."
- Approximately 10% of U.S. college students have been diagnosed with depression, the National Mental Health Association says. Suicide has become the third-leading cause of death for people aged 15-24, behind accidental deaths and homicide.
- Approximately one-third of drivers in their 20s are on auto insurance policies paid for by someone at least 20 years older.
The argument can be made that these statistics point out a curious shift from past generations. So I leave you with the question- is it me or is it us? Is this a pandemic? Some Sociologists are now calling this period of introspection and self-discovery a "legitimate developmental stage". The funny thing is that I never remember my grandparents or even my parents mentioning this important stage in my development...is this a new phenomenon or have past generations kept this process a secret? I'm confident in stating that almost everyone has heard of a mid-life crisis, but what happened to a quarterlife crisis?