Scientists Say You’re Not An Adult Until Age 24

January 22, 2018

There’s no way I felt like an actual adult when I turned 18, and science says there might be something to that. Though 18 might be the gateway to legal adulthood, scientists believe young people aren’t actually adults until age 24.

Most people can agree very few 18 or 19 year olds today are “grown,” but the reason for believing adolescence now lasts into our early 20’s is because millennials are waiting longer before they settle down. In 1975, the average age people got married was 23 years for men and 21 years for women. Now it’s 29 and 27, respectively.

There’s also the fact that a lot of adult responsibilities happen well after you turn 18; Professor Susan Sawyer, director of the Melbourne hospital's centre for adolescent health, believes that age 24 fits in much better with not only the development timeline of adolescent, but also with the shifting perception of when adulthood begins these days.