Woman's World as Men Stay at Home with Mum and Dad

Article excerpt

Grown men are increasingly reluctant to leave the parental nest and find a home for themselves - even when they reach the age of 30, the Government says.

More men than ever are still living with their parents, amounting to nearly a third of those aged between 20 and 35, compared with only one in four in 1977-8, the latest Social Trends survey shows.

Meanwhile, independent-minded women are forging their own way in the world, with only one in six - half as many as men - still enjoying the comforts of the parental home by the time they are 35.

The report's co-editor, Ms Jil Matheson, said: "Some young people may be delaying leaving home because of difficulties entering the housing market. The later age of marriage may also be a factor."

The latest snapshot of life in Britain at the turn of the Millennium shows that, compared to a decade ago, Britons are going more often to museums, theme parks and historic houses and monuments, they are spending more time visiting friends, and are devoting more time to listening to the radio, reading books, doing DIY and gardening.

The survey also reveals a growing tendency for Britons to treat themselves.

For the first time, spending on leisure goods and services has overtaken the amount households spend on food. The average weekly food shop costs pounds 58.90, but now Britons also pay out a little more - pounds 59.80 - on relaxing and having fun each week.

Holidays abroad are more popular than domestic breaks, with Britons taking 30 million foreign vacations in 1998, compared with slightly fewer domestic getaways.

Holidaymakers are not scrimping either, setting aside pounds 936 a year per household for their trips - nearly four times in real terms what they shelled out in the Seventies.

The boom in prosperity comes as Britons enter the 21st century much wealthier, with average earnings rising far faster than retail prices.

The picture painted by the 30th annual Social Trends report also reveals that more children under five are now in education than ever before - 98 per cent.

And the number of primary schools connected to the Internet has rocketed from 17 per cent to 62 per cent in just one year.

The number of people surviving to be 100 continues to rise, with 5,500 centenarians currently living in England and Wales - 5,000 of them women. …