It can be difficult for young people to achieve financial stability in their 20s, new analysis has shown.

Those aged 22 to 29 years have become less likely to own a home, with the proportion of homeowners having fallen by 10 percentage points between 2008 and 2017 – from 37% to 27%1.

They’re also less likely to have money set aside. More than half (53%) of 22- to 29-year-olds had no money saved in a savings account or an Individual Savings Account (ISA) in 2014 to 2016, compared with 41% in 2008 to 2010. However, those who did had an average of £1,600 put away, up from £900.

Meanwhile, young people are now less likely to be in financial debt. Around 37% had financial debt (excluding student loans from the Student Loans Company), down from 49% in 2008 to 2010. That said, those in debt owed fractionally more (£1,900), on average, than in 2008 to 2010 (£1,800).

Clearly, not all young people face the same financial pressures.

Much depends on where people sit on the earnings scale. The highest earning 10% of 22- to 29-year-olds were paid at least 4.3 times as much per week as the lowest earners in 20172.

The gap is wider still for those with savings in savings accounts or ISAs (47%). The top 10% of savers had at least £15,000 put away in 2014 to 2016, while the bottom 10% had saved less than £100.

Likewise, there are differences in levels of financial debt. Among 22 to 29 year olds with debt (37%), the 10% most indebted owed at least £14,200 in 2014 to 2016, while the 10% least indebted owed £100 or less.

How does your financial situation compare? Use our calculator to find out how your earnings, savings and debt stack up relative to your peers.

How well are you doing compared with other young people?

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Finding help

If you’re struggling with debt, or know someone who is, there are tools available to help you take control of your finances. Try this budget planner by the Money Advice Service.

Alternatively, if you need to speak to someone about debt, charities like Citizens Advice, Stepchange and National Debtline offer free help and advice.


  1. The proportion of 22- to 29-year-olds owning a home refers to those who are employed. The weighted population of employed 22- to 29-year-olds was 5.6 million.
  2. Earnings figures refer to all employees.