Happy 30th birthday

It’s begun – Next Steps study members have started turning 30!

Over the course of the next year, all of you will reach this significant milestone. The start of our 30s marks a shift to the next stage of adulthood, when people settle into their life paths. It’s a decade of big changes, like buying a house, moving in with a partner, having children or making that next big career move. Some of you will have already made these transitions. Many of you will take these ‘next steps’ in the coming years, and others will move their lives in different directions.

Millennials forge a different path

Your generation has already proven that you are less likely to follow a set path than your parents’ or grandparents’ generations. Millennials’ journeys through adult life are more diverse and complex – you move back and forth between education and work more frequently, between jobs and careers, and between living independently and moving back in with your parents.

Times are changing

Year on year, your generation shows remarkable resilience and adaptability in the face of major world events and changes at a global scale.

Many of you entered the labour market at a challenging time, when the economic recession affected job prospects and youth employment in particular. Often dubbed ‘Generation Rent’, many of you have struggled to save for a deposit and to find affordable, good-quality housing in your areas.

You are also building your lives in an era of unprecedented political turbulence, the rise of the gig economy and expansion of technology. The next phase of your lives will be shaped by the UK’s transition out of the European Union, the ever-changing nature of work, and rising role of artificial intelligence, and the increasing ‘digitisation’ of our daily routines. These changes will bring both opportunities and challenges for your generation.

What were the generations before you doing in their thirties?

What were the Baby Boomers and Generation X doing in their 30s?

Next Steps is the third in a series of studies we run following different generations of Britons. So what were the Baby Boomers and Generation X doing when they were in their early thirties?

We looked at what our study members born in 1958 (the end of the Baby Boom) were doing when they were 33 years old in 1991, and what our study members born 1970 (Generation X) were up to in 2000 when they were 30.

The story of your lives continues…

By following your adult lives, we will be able to observe how your generation navigates the future, what puts people at risk and what helps them thrive, and why certain inequalities persist. What we learn will shape policy and society, so future generations can learn from your experiences.

Whatever your thirties bring, the coming years will be an important chapter in your lives. We look forward to continuing the journey with you.

From all of us at Next Steps, we wish you a very happy 30th birthday!