• 33 is the age we become a ‘grown-up’ according to Brits
  • Yet, over a third (34%) of British adults do not feel ‘grown-up’ at all
  • 62 is the age Brits consider to be ‘old’

Close up of multi generation family taking a selfie

Turning 18 is a major milestone in life, for many it is the age of leaving school, moving away from home and legally being able to vote for the first time. But whilst 18 is the age of becoming an official adult, when do we actually feel grown-up?

OneFamily, a modern mutual provider, has conducted research into the UK’s perception of age – speaking to those aged 5 to over 90.

The research reveals that 33 is the average age in which Brits feel they are a ‘grown-up’, and almost double that until they become ‘old’ – 62.  Despite this, over a third (34%) of adults do not feel ‘grown-up’ at all.

Interestingly, more 19-25 year olds (54%) feel ‘grown-up’ compared to 41-50 year olds (47%). And 1 in 10 (11%) 81-90 year olds said they aren’t ‘grown-up’ yet. Perhaps the older we get, the less grown-up we feel?

Similarly, more 5-7 year olds (40%) believe that they are ‘grown-up’, compared to 16-18 year olds (25%).


The reasons children feel ‘grown-up’:


  1. I am bigger than my little brother
  2. I can spell
  3. I’m responsible for keeping my room tidy
  4. I can read and write, and wear lippy
  5. I walk to school on my own

The reasons children don’t feel ‘grown-up’:


  1. I  enjoy playing with my toys too much
  2. I don’t know everything
  3. I have no babies
  4. I’m still young and not good at maths yet
  5. I can’t wear makeup or do the shopping

Karl Elliott, Marketing Director at OneFamily, said: “When we are young, everyone over the age of 18 appears to be a grown-up. But as we get older, and some say wiser, this perception generally fades as we start to understand what being an adult actually means.

“Whilst is it a cliche to say, it is evident that age really is just a number, and actually to be ‘grown-up’ or to be ‘old’ is simply about how you feel.”

Jayne Raisborough, Professor of Media at Leeds Beckett University, said: “The biggest fear we have is that we are written off as we get older. We fear that we will become  invisible and worthless. We have to fight ideas from the beauty industry that we are only as good as our faces.

“To be old is to have lived. We have experienced and survived the rich joys and deep sorrows that make up all of our lives, how dare anyone take that away from us! Don’t be written off!

Take a look at our video, asking people of all ages what age means to them: One Family – What Is Old

*Total sample size was 1,129 UK citizens.


About OneFamily


OneFamily combines nearly 40 years’ experience of being the trusted provider of financial solutions for families and has more than £7bn of assets under management.  OneFamily serves around one in 12 families in the UK. As a mutual, it is a member-owned business, investing in delivering value to its clients, rather than focusing on paying a dividend to shareholders.

OneFamily was formed by the merger of Family Investments and Engage Mutual in June 2015.  OneFamily was named Best Junior ISA provider at the 2015 Investment Life and Pensions Moneyfacts Awards.

For more information, visit One Family

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