Young adults are extending their education and putting off some major adult milestones, such as entering the workforce and marrying, compared with decades past, according to a demographic report by the National Center for Education Statistics.
The researchers analyzed data on Americans between the ages of 14 and 24 from the 1980s to 2010. They found that a much larger percentage of this generation of 18- to 19-year-olds is enrolled in school of some sort, 69 percent in 2010 compared with 46 percent in 1980. Likewise, 30 percent of 22- to 24-year-olds are still in school, compared with only 16 percent of that age group in 1980.
The share of youths employed at least part time dropped from 30 percent or more of 16- and 17-year-olds in 1980 to 15 percent by 2009.
A version of this article appeared in the January 11, 2012 edition of Education Week as Transitions to Adulthood