Jobs, homes, sex and friends: Generation switch and the four ways 25 and 50-year-olds differ

Lynsey Barber
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Yoof vs experience: There's a generational divide (Source: Flickr/Paolo Camera)

The difference between those in their 50s and under 25s isn’t just age, wisdom and experience.

Those in their early twenties and teens are a generation of serial switchers, whether it’s their career, where they live, or who they’re sleeping with, compared to older generations.

Here are four ways they differ.

1. Home sweet home

It’s no secret getting on the property ladder has become near impossible for anyone under 30 (and even for those in their 30s it’s no walk in the park), with the average age of the first-time buyer now at 31 years old.

According to new research, 78 per cent of over-50s own their own home, while for under-25s that stands at just nine per cent, with 43 per cent still living with parents.

Younger generations expect to be packing boxes and moving on to somewhere new more than twice as often as their elders - 14 house moves in total, compared to just six.

Read more: Generation Y will be the first generation to experience a lower quality of life than its parents

2. BFFs

Perhaps it's the ease of adding “friends” with just a click of a button thanks to social media, but the older we are, the fewer friends we have - 113 on average for younger people compared to a more moderate (and manageable) 33 for over-50s.

More than one in 20 said they have a group of friends numbering more than 500 and just one per cent of over-50s said the same.

However, the fickle nature of friendship and generation switch means while the older generation have fewer, they have (or expect to have) more lifelong friends, or BFFs (best friends forever) compared to under 25s - 15 versus seven.

3. No career for life

On the job front, one in five in their early 20s expect to switch jobs 10 times in their working lives, compared with just 13 per cent of over 50s, according to the survey of 2,000 people by Samsung and OnePoll.

4. More exes

When it comes to matters of the heart, it’s a more complicated affair for younger generations.

They’re likely to have twice as many sexual partners before settling down (five, on average, compared to 10) and have a third as many relationships as older generations, while a similar number expect never to find a life partner.

Read more: Why employers are yet to suss out Generation Y

"It’s clear from these results that people today expect to switch and swipe their way through life. The experiences of a younger generation will be markedly different to that of their parents and this new digital generation are unafraid of change,” said Samsung’s IT and mobile vice president for UK and Ireland, Conor Pierce.

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