Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Trends among Young Adults

How do the lives of today's young adults differ from the lives of their parents (baby boomers) when they were young? The National Center for Education Statistics has answers. A new NCES study examines four cohorts of young adults two years after graduating from high school. The high school graduates of 1972, 1980, 1992, and 2004 were surveyed two years later (in 1974, 1982, 1994, and 2006) about their education, living arrangements, voter participation, and job experience. Note that the most recent data (the status of 2004 high school graduates in 2006) reflect the time period before the start of the Great Recession...

Percentage of young adults currently enrolled in postsecondary courses
1974: 39.6%
1982: 48.5%
1994: 60.2%
2006: 62.3%
Percentage of young adults ever married
1974: 25.9%
1982: 11.6%
1994:   7.5%
2006:   4.0%
Percentage of young adults living with their parents
1974: 39.1%
1982: 49.9%
1994: 51.2%
2006: 45.5%
Percentage of young adults ever voting in an election
1974: 62.3%
1982: 51.1%
1994: 56.1%
2006: 57.5%

Jobs have changed as well. In each cohort, the young adults who did not go to college were asked about their first job. The percentage whose first job was clerical or skilled operative fell from 48 percent to 23 percent between 1974 and 2006. Conversely, the percentage whose first job was in sales or service climbed from 24 to 44 percent during those years.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics, Trends among Young Adults Over Three Decades, 1974-2006

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