People stop celebrating birthdays at 31

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The party's over... by the time we hit 31. People stop celebrating their big day when they reach their early thirties, a study has revealed.

However, people in the North West are still more likely to throw a party than many of their peers in the UK.

After years of marking the day with parties and nights out, worries about getting ‘too old’ and simply ‘not being bothered’ anymore mean we stop making a big effort to celebrate as soon as we get into our thirties.

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Following their 31st birthday, many admit they only really celebrate the milestone birthdays of 40, 50 and 60, with almost half admitting they’ve had a birthday which has passed them by completely because they barely acknowledged it.

And more than one in five has never had a birthday party.

Those born in September, October or June were found to be the biggest party poopers, with August and March-born Brits most likely to celebrate.

The poll, of 2,000 adults, also found that on the average birthday, Brits can expect to receive eight cards, 10 Facebook and social media well-wishes and five presents, and two thirds will receive a cake.

Liz Penney, spokeswoman for Hollywood Bowl, which commissioned the study, said: “As a child, your birthday celebrations are pretty much the highlight of your year.

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“But once you reach adulthood, the celebrations naturally die down a bit, unless you are reaching a ‘big’ birthday such as 18, 21 or 30, with 31 being the last birthday you really go out of your way to celebrate in a special way.

“Celebrating your birthday should be fun and is a great excuse to catch up with friends and family, create memories and just generally have a good time, regardless of how old you will be.

“Birthdays can also be a great time to take stock of what’s happened in the previous year and perhaps set new goals for the year ahead.

“Not everyone wants to have a big party or be the centre of attention, but we do think it’s important to mark your birthday in a way that’s enjoyable to you.”

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The study, of 2,000 Brits, found the main reason for no longer celebrating birthdays was simply ‘I can’t be bothered’, followed by not wanting to be the centre of attention, not liking a fuss and worrying they are getting too old.

Others admit to shying away from birthday celebrations as they believe birthdays and parties are just for children while more than one in ten worries about the cost.

When asked how they define a celebration, over 60 per cent of respondents said with a special meal, almost a third (31 per cent) felt a day out qualified as a celebration, and a quarter (25 per cent) defined a celebration as drinks with friends.

But despite expressing their wishes for a low key birthday, one in three have been made to celebrate by friends, relatives or work colleagues.

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Fifteen per cent even said their reluctance to celebrate a birthday has led to rows with someone who disagreed, while another one in twenty have suffered a painful surprise party after loved ones ignored their pleas for something small and quiet.

Half even admitted they have kept their birthday a secret from work colleagues or friends because they didn’t want a fuss.

According to the research, a weekend away with a partner was named the most popular way to mark a birthday, followed by dinner out with family, a quiet meal with a partner and a simple takeaway and film night at home.

It also emerged that women are most likely to celebrate their birthdays - 76 per cent compared with just 66 per cent of men, but it’s guys who are most likely to be concerned that they are getting too old to celebrate a birthday.

Top ten reasons for no longer celebrating a birthday

1. I can’t be bothered

2. I don’t like being the centre of attention

3. I don’t like causing a fuss

4. I worry I’m getting too old to celebrate

5. Birthday parties and celebrations are just for children

6. It’s become too much effort

7. I don’t have many friends/relatives living nearby

8. I worry about the cost for me/my friends/ my family

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9. My birthday is close to an occasion such as Christmas so everyone is too busy/ cash-strapped to celebrate

10. My friends/relatives are too busy to celebrate it with me

Top ten ways to celebrate a birthday

1. A weekend away with a partner

2. A dinner out with family

3. A quiet meal out with a partner

4. A takeaway and a film

5. A dinner out with friends

6. A weekend away with friends

7. A dinner party at home

8. A leisure activity such as bowling, spa or theatre

9. A BBQ

10. A day out with some shopping, lunch etc.

Regions most likely to celebrate

1. North East (80%)

2. North West (76%)

3. Northern Ireland (75%)

4. West Midlands (74%)

5. Scotland (74%)

Regions least likely to celebrate

1. East Anglia (67%)

2. South west (68%)

3. South East (68%)

4. East Midlands (71%)

5. London (72%)