More young adults have are now living with their parents than they have in 130 years. 32.1 percent of young adults aged 18-34 are living in their parents’ home, while 31.6 live with their partner or a spouse, according to an analysis performed by the Pew Research Center. Only 14 percent of that group lives alone.
“We’ve simply got a lot more singles,” said Richard Fry, the lead author of Pew’s analysis. The average woman in the U.S. is marrying at 27 years old and the average man at 29, whereas in 1956 women were marrying at age 20 and men at age 22. According to Fry, millennials are now concentrating more on school and career than on marriage and children.
In the analysis, Pew found that young men are more likely to live with a parent than with a partner or spouse, but the opposite has been found for women. Women are still more likely to be living with a spouse or partner than living with their parents. The majority of women living at home are unemployed.
Meg, 23, tells Vice that she tried to move out at age 19 but that it was too difficult to do so while remaining debt-free. “I do have friends who have moved out, and it’s not the greatest situation, like they’re funding it with [student loans]. And I don’t want to be in debt.”
Another Vice article, released July of 2016, shows images of people in their 20s living at home. “With tuition fees steadily rising to WTF rates, monthly rent requiring Walter White salaries in the big cities where the jobs and fun are, and homeownership becoming a hopeless fantasy, staying at home just makes financial sense.”
With fewer young adults getting married than previous generations, this shift is partly accountable for the increased number of young people living at home. When this data research began in 1880, living alone was extremely rare, whereas now 14 percent of young people live alone or with roommates.
The last time this many young adults lived at home was in 1940, when 35 percent lived at home. NPR reporter Camila Domonoske points out that while the recession of 2008 would seem like a likely explanation for young adults living at home. With male unemployment at a high for decades, young men with jobs are making less than they would have earned in their parents’ generation. This accounts for inflation and has been falling since the 1970s.
Vice even released a tutorial for millennials on how to deal with living with your parents in your 20s. The pros and cons listed include getting to know your parents before they pass on, as well as saving money. “Treat it as a safety net, but don’t get comfy—it’s not a hammock,” said a 28-year-old interviewed for the article.