London - Turning 21 used to be seen as the time when we had to put away childish things and embrace adulthood.

But now researchers have claimed that the next generation of adults are maturing much later, meaning the milestone of the 21st birthday is being delayed until they turn 30.

They said that while some young people with jobs felt mature and independent, many weren’t keen to commit to calling themselves adults.

A survey of 140 people born in 1990 found that only 38 percent believed they had reached maturity on their 21st birthday.

Thirteen percent were adamant that they were not adults on their 21st and the remaining 49 percent could not decide.

The study by Australian charity the Brotherhood of St Laurence also found 72 percent of respondents were still living at home.

Researcher Janet Taylor said: “For some, the fact they were earning money and making their own decisions made them feel adult, and for some they liked that they didn’t have to take adult responsibilities yet.

“I think the age marker no longer has some of the relevance it did.”

Commenting on the findings, psychologist Hugh Mackay said a generation of “kidadults” was emerging, who spend more time studying, globe-trotting and with a wider variety of jobs to choose from than their parents.

He said: “Twenty-one is an excuse for a party. Young people approaching 30 regard that as the threshold to adulthood – 30 is the new 21.” - Daily Mail