When do you officially become an adult? Unfortunately, there is no real “officially” in our modern society. You can drive at 16, vote at 18, drink at 21 and rent a car at 25, but none of those things feel like real rites of passage. In most states, you can get married at 18, but we’re waiting longer and longer to settle down, with the average American tying the knot around 34 years old. So …what age are we actually an adult?
A new survey by Avocado Green Brands found that about 53 percent of Americans say 18 is the age of adulthood, a little under half say they didn’t feel like an adult until they hit 30. So, clearly, it depends.
The real takeaway is that most respondents felt like age is only a number when it comes to being a grown-up. Nearly 80 percent agreed that it’s actions, not age, that make a grown-up. It’s less about how old you are than checking off some real life milestones that make you feel more independent.
Topping that list is living on your own. 30 percent of respondents said that was what made them “feel like” an adult. Buying a house was right behind at 28 percent, and having your own bank account was tied with getting married at 27 percent. Having kids and doing grocery shopping was tied at 26 percent, and doing your own taxes and paying for your own phone plan are tied at 26 percent.
So, yes, Americans are pretty evenly split on when you become an adult. But there is a lot more general agreement that it’s less a matter of when than it is a matter of how.
See the rest of the top 30 below.
- Live on my own — 30%
- Buy a house — 28%
- Get married — 27%
- Have my own bank account — 27%
- Have kids — 26%
- Do all of my own grocery shopping — 26%
- Do my own taxes — 25% (tied)
- Pay for my own phone plan (versus having a family plan with my parents) — 25% (tied)
- Vote — 25%
- Get paid on a regular schedule — 25%
- Buy “real” furniture (new from the store; not from college, or somewhere like Craigslist, etc.) — 25%
- Buy a new car (versus a used car from somewhere like Craigslist, etc.) — 25%
- Have health insurance — 24%
- Make my own doctor’s appointments — 23%
- Have a job interview — 23%
- Set my own schedule (bedtime, etc.) — 22%
- Make a monthly budget — 22%
- Move in with my significant other — 21%
- Order alcoholic drinks — 20%
- Shop at small, local stores instead of from large chains — 19%
- Buy a new mattress (versus a used mattress from a friend, etc.) — 19%
- Purchase and wear business casual clothes — 19%
- Consistently watch the evening news — 18%
- Employ a financial adviser — 18%
- Buy my own pet — 18%
- Frame all of my wall-hangings/the art in my home — 18%
- Start caring about the environment — 17% (tied)
- Shop at places that offset their shipping costs — 17% (tied)
- Buy a full, matching set of dishes — 17%
- Make my bed every morning — 16%