Youth social citizenship and class inequalities in transitions to adulthood in the UK

Publication type

Research Paper

Series Number



ESRC Centre for Population Change Working Papers


Publication date

January 15, 2017


This paper reconsiders youth transition regime literature in the context of recent changes to Government policies in the age at which young adults are deemed independent of their parents, the privatization of the funding of higher education, and the current housing crisis. We provide new evidence regarding class inequalities in transitions to adulthood over the past twenty-five years. All social classes have seen a delay in some transitions such as getting a full time job, and becoming a home owner. Class differences in the likelihood of
remaining in the parental home have widened. Regardless of social background, having a degree remains key to avoid precarious employment, but within the graduate and nongraduate groups there are class inequalities in the likelihood of being unemployed, or in a routine job. Despite the recent postponement of motherhood among disadvantaged groups, the timing and partnership context of motherhood remains strongly class stratified.





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