What Are The Milestones Of Adulthood In 2017?

Posted on November 20, 2017 • Category: Young Talent


A new 2017 study from the U.S. Census describes the traditional milestones of adulthood and how they are changing. In the past, getting married and having children were the major milestones to adulthood because of the responsibilities that come with supporting a family (e.g., having a good job, providing housing, healthcare, etc.).

Today’s young adults, and their parents, feel differently about what it takes to be successful in the 2017 economy.

Milestones for Adulthood


Arizona data is available on all seven milestones that Americans are using to describe the steps to adulthood today. This brief looks at financial independence and compares Arizona’s young adults to the nation.

Milestones for Adulthood


The milestones to adulthood have changed dramatically over the last two decades. Understanding the change is important because growing and encouraging young talent is one of the eight goals identified by Arizonans as critical to achieving The Arizona We Want.

The decisions that young adults make about where to live now and as their careers develop will depend on the opportunities they see for upward mobility and the overall quality of life available to them.

Arizona’s future success will depend on:

  • How well we provide young people with education and skills.
  • How much opportunity we create for young adults to develop their careers over time.
  • How well we preserve and enhance the state’s superb quality of life.

The Arizona We Want is within reach.


8 in 10

Americans were married by the age of 30 in the 1970s. Today, 8 in 10 people are not married until the age of 45.
The Changing Economics and Demographics of Young Adulthood: 1975 - 2016  

U.S. Department of Census, Economics and Statistics Administration, April 2017