What do we need to know about being a young adult in a post-COVID Ireland: New report shapes the next Growing Up in Ireland survey for Cohort ’98 at age 25

Download the slides from the report launch here.

On May 25th, Minister Roderic O’Gorman TD will launch a joint report from the Growing Up in Ireland (GUI) Study Team and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth that discusses the key information sought from 25-year-olds in the next wave of the GUI study. Drawing on conversations with young adults, researchers and policy-makers Research Needs for Wave 5: Age 25 looks forward to 2023 and beyond in a brand new world for Generation Z. What will Government and researchers need to know about this key phase of the life-course to respond to their aspirations and challenges as they establish themselves in the labour market and society as independent adults?

Growing Up in Ireland has been following a core group of thousands of young people born around 1998 since they were 9 years old.  They have progressed through many big individual milestones and events of global significance: most recently the COVID-19 pandemic but also the Great Recession of 2008-13 before that. The next interview at age 25, scheduled for 2023, will aim to capture core information on their life experiences in areas such as education and training, the labour market, physical health, socio-emotional well-being, relationships, civic engagement, finance and housing, and their concerns and aspirations.

There are important questions to ask 25-year-olds such as:

  • How have they been affected by periods of unemployment and precarious employment?
  • What education options, if any, did they pursue after school and were they happy with their choice?
  • Are they healthy and what aspects of their current lifestyles might cause risks for their health in the future?
  • Is their mental health declining or improving as they leave adolescence behind and become fully embedded in adult roles?
  • Do they have positive relationships with family, friends and ‘significant others’?
  • Have they been able to source housing suitable for their needs and aspirations?
  • How common is it for young adults to experience discrimination in their daily lives?
  • Has their experience of the pandemic changed them or their aspirations?

Aisling Murray, co-author of the report stated, “The timing of the COVID-19 pandemic with the transition into the labour market for the young adults of Cohort ’98 means that up-to-date information on their progress is especially important.  This report in advance of the next phase of Growing Up in Ireland brings together researchers, policy-makers, and young adults to assemble a ‘tool kit’ of measures to reflect the lived experiences of 25-year-olds in a (hopefully) post-COVID Ireland.”

Minister Roderic O’Gorman T.D (DCEDIY) said of the new report “I am delighted to launch this Growing Up in Ireland research needs report, which is a vital and scientifically robust resource that informs the questions that will be asked of our now 25 year-old Growing Up in Ireland participants. The pilot for this wave of data collection will commence at the end of May by the Central Statistics Office, in advance of the main wave of data collection taking place in 2023.  We are looking forward to hearing from Growing Up In Ireland participants all over the country to hear about how their lives are going post pandemic and to gather important information about what life is like for 25 year olds today, in areas such as work, learning, health, relationships and financial and emotional well-being.”