What is the Average Age to Move Out in the UK?

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Moving out is a big step in every person’s life, often symbolising a transition into adulthood. It can be exciting, with a lot of new freedoms, but can also be very stressful. While there are key points when many people move out of their childhood home, it is important to note that there is no “best time” to move out. People are ready to leave home at different stages in their lives, and there is no shame about living with your parents until you are ready to move.  However, you might be wondering about what age that this normally happens, one way to figure this out is by looking at the average age.

In short, the average age to move out in the UK is 23, based on data from 2017, which you can learn more about below. This fits in with other European countries which have a range of between about 21 as the national average to move out to about 33. This range may be so large as differences in this average between different countries is likely due to the cultural and lifestyle differences, some of which are more similar to the UK, most likely with ones that have similar averages, and others which are less similar.

Continue reading for more about the average ages to move out in the UK and how this compares to other parts of the world, such as Europe. This article will give you more details on the average age to go to university, to start renting and of first-time buyers.

What is the average age to move out in the UK?

In the UK, the average age to move out is 23. This is because at the age of 23 years-old is the first age where more than 50% of the age group had moved out. Please note that while this is an official figure from the Office for National Statistics, this figure is from 2017 and so it may have slightly changed since this due to the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis, which may have made it higher.

In 1997, the average age to move out was 21 as this was instead the age where over 50% of the age group had moved out. This shows that the age of moving out is increasing and suggests that it may continue to increase in the future. To learn more about this, check out this guide by the Office for National Statistics.

What is the average age to go to university?

When going to university, students often move out in order to study in a different place to where they live. The age that this is done is different to the average overall age that people move out in the UK as moving out for university isn’t quite the same as moving out entirely.

The majority of university students start university at the age of 18, after finishing sixth form or college, making it the average age for going to university based on frequency. In 2018, 51.9% of accepted university applicants were 18-year-olds. To learn more about this statistic, check out this guide by UCAS.

How many uni students live away from home?

While going to university can often be thought of as a form of moving out, not all students choose to move away from home when they go to university. Due to this, it is important to consider how many students actually do live away from home while at university before considering it as a way of moving out.

In the 2021/22 academic year, only 429,620 students in full-time higher education were living at their parent or guardian’s home. This is compared to the 1.25 million students in full-time higher education that lived away from home in either accommodation maintained by their course provider, privately owned student halls, other rented accommodation or some other form of accommodation. To learn more about these figures, check out this page by HESA.

What is the average age to start renting in the UK?

In the UK, the figures of when people start renting and the average age of this, aren’t entirely clear. However, the age group between 25 and 34 were the most represented group of private renters in 2017, making up 34.96% of the private renting sector.

As it is much more than the 11.51% of the 16- 24-year-olds age group, it would suggest that the average age to start renting in the UK is somewhere between 25 and 34. This is especially as it is close to the overall average of 23 for moving out. To learn more about these figures, check out this guide by the Office for National Statistics.

However, due to a lack of information about if people within this group had previously rented before turning 25 and due to the large number of different ages that are included in each single group, I’m unable to give you a more precise figure for the average age to start renting in the UK.

What is the average age of a first-time buyer in the UK?

In the UK, the national average age of a first-time home buyer was 32 in 2021. However, there are some regional differences with the highest average age being in London at the age of 33 and the lowest average age being 30 in both the North East and Yorkshire and The Humber regions.

This figure was a rise from the average in 2011, which was 29. This shows that this figure has risen, which is likely due to the raising house prices, changes in lifestyle, such as more people going to university or more people moving around for work, as well as difficulties in getting enough for the deposit.

To learn more about these figures, look at the Halifax first-time buyer review of 2021 here on the Lloyds Banking Group website. For more on why the age might be increasing, check out this article by The Guardian.

What does the law state about moving out?

Laws play an important role in whether you can leave home or not. Particularly in regard to moving out, this is due to keeping people safe.

The following sections will teach you more about the legalities of moving out, particularly in relation to your age. To learn more about this, continue reading.

What is the youngest age you can move out in the UK?

One of the main ways that the law can restrict whether or not you’re able to move out is based on your age. This is because there are age restrictions on what you can do based on your age, including to do with moving out.

If you are under the age of 16, you won’t legally be allowed to move out. This is because you are still a minor and it is the responsibility of your parents or guardians to look after you.

In this same way, if you do leave home without your parents’ or guardian’s permission, then as long as it is safe to do so, the police have a right to take you back home. To learn more about this, check out this guide by Childline.

The youngest age that you can move out in the UK is 16. When you are between 16 and 18, you can legally leave home without having to get consent from your parents or guardians. In the same way, they also can legally ask you to leave.

However, as a minor, this is still difficult to do due to there still being limits. For example, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you will need a guarantor before you’re able to rent your own place.

Also, moving out at any age can still be incredibly expensive and while you may be eligible to claim benefits, this may not always be the case. To learn more about moving out at 16 or 17, check out this guide by the NSPCC.

What percentage of people move out at 18 in the UK?

In the UK, despite it being entirely legal and possible to do, only a very small percentage of people actually move out when they reach 18 years old. In fact, in 2021, only 11% of females and 8% of males weren’t still living with their parents or legal guardians at the age of 18.

By the age of 19, this increased to 24% of females and 19% of males, so the figures were still fairly low. To learn more about these figures, check out this page by Statista.

What is the average age to move out in Europe?

As can be expected, the average age to move out can vary greatly across the world and even in Europe alone there is quite a large range between the countries. There are lots of factors that influence this, including culture and whether people tend to go to university or straight into the workforce at 18.

Across the EU, the average age to move out is 26.4 for 2022. While the EU doesn’t cover all of Europe, 27 out of about 45 European countries are in the EU. This means that it is over half and so this figure is arguably representative of the majority of Europe.

For more about the number of countries in the EU, check out this guide by the European Union. To learn more about the number of countries in Europe, check out this guide by Schengen Visa Info.

The country with the lowest average age of people moving out is Finland with the national average being 21.3. Whereas the country with the highest national average for moving out was Croatia at 33.4 years old.

While the averages may be looked at by considering the entire country, they may also be looked at by splitting up the average age of moving out of males and females. As a reference, for the EU as a whole, the average for females is 25.5 years-old and the average for males is 27.3 years-old.

Look at the following table to see a selection of EU member countries and their averages to move out overall as well as based on gender.

Country Overall average age to move out Average age to move out for males Average age to move out for females
Croatia 33.4 34.7 32.0
France 23.4 24.2 22.7
Spain 30.3 31.0 29.5
Sweden 21.4 21.7 21.1
Denmark 21.7 22.0 21.3
Germany 23.8 24.5 23.0
Greece 30.7 32.1 29.2
Finland 21.3 22.1 20.5
Italy 30.0 30.9 29.0
Czechia 25.9 27.1 24.6
Lithuania 24.7 25.6 23.7
Estonia 22.7 23.4 22.0
Ireland 26.9 27.4 26.5

To learn more about this data, check out this page by Eurostat. Please note that all of this data is true for 2022 and may have slightly changed on time of reading.

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