More young adults living with their parents

Last year, 36% of American young adults were living with their parents.

According to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, a record 21.6 million young adults are living in their parent’s home today.

The study, titled “A Rising Share of Young Adults Live in Their Parents’ Home”, defined young adults as people aged from 18 to 31 years, otherwise known as ‘Millennials‘, because they all turned 18 after the end of the last millennium.

According to the authors:

“This is the highest share in at least four decades and represents a slow but steady increase over the 32% of their same-aged counterparts who were living at home prior to the Great Recession in 2007 and the 34% doing so when it officially ended in 2009.”

In 2007, a total of 18.5 million young adults lived with their parents, compared to 21.6 million last year. At least one third of Millennials who live with their parents today are college students. In this study, the authors have included college students who live in dorms during the academic year as dwellers in their parents’ home.

Fifty-six percent of young adults aged 18 to 24 (Younger Millennials) and 16% of those aged 25 to 31 (Older Millennials) live with their parents. Since the 2007-2009 financial crisis, a higher percentage in both the young adult age groups have had this living arrangement.

Millennial males are more likely to be living with their parents than females of the same age – 40% and 32% respectively.

Fewer young adults today have jobs or are getting married, and more are studying

The authors believe the following factors have driven up the share of young adults who live with their parents:

  • Fewer young adults have jobs – while 70% of young adults had jobs in 2007, only 63% were in employment in 2012. Forty-five percent of Millennials in 2012 lived with their parents, compared to 29% of those with jobs.
  • More young adults in further education – 39% of Younger Millennials were in college in March 2012, compared to 35% in March 2007. Sixty-six percent of Younger Millennials who were in college lived with their parents, compared to 50% of those not in further education.
  • Fewer young adults getting married – only 25% of Millennials were married in 2012, compared to 30% in 2007. Forty-seven percent of unmarried Millennials live with their parents today, compared to just 3% of their married counterparts.

These three factors do not in themselves explain why more younger adults are living with their parents today compared to 2007. Even within each subgroup – unmarried, unemployed or young adults in further education – a higher percentage of them have remained with their parents since 2007.

The authors added “Looking at longer term trends, the analysis finds that the share of young adults living in their parents’ home was relatively constant from 1968 (the earliest comparable data available) to 2007, at about 32%. However, other household arrangements of young adults changed dramatically during this period. For example, the share who were married and living with a spouse fell from 56% in 1968 to 27% in 2007. And the share who were living with a roommate or child or were cohabiting with a partner increased nearly fivefold (from 5.5% to 26%).”