More College-Age People Living at Home

on June 8, 2017

For the first time in the modern era, more young people are living at home with their parents than on their own. A Pew Research Center study found that more people ages 18 to 34 are living with their parents because they are delaying marriage or long-term relationships.


According to the study, the number of people living with a partner has dropped to 31.6 percent, the lowest it’s been since before 1880. The number of people living at home with their parents, however, has been climbing since 1960 and was 32.1 percent in 2014. The number of people living in their parents’ home peaked in 1940, when it was 35 percent.


“A variety of factors contribute to the long-run increase in the share of young adults living with their parents,” the report stated. “The first is the postponement of, if not retreat from, marriage. The median age of first marriage has risen steadily for decades. In addition, a growing share of young adults may be eschewing marriage altogether.”


The report also pointed to economic factors as playing role in whether young people lived at home. The factors, though, differ by gender. Young men who are employed tend to live on their own. Young men who are unemployed or underemployed tend to live with their parents.


“The share of young men with jobs peaked around 1960 at 84 percent. In 2014, only 71 percent of 18- to 34-year-old men were employed. Similarly with earnings, young men’s wages (after adjusting for inflation) have been on a downward trajectory since 1970 and fell significantly from 2000 to 2010. As wages have fallen, the share of young men living in the home of their parent(s) has risen,” the report stated.



Young women who are employed tend to live on their own. Additionally, more women have entered the workforce since 1960 so more women are by themselves. Delaying marriage was one of the biggest factors for why young women continued to live with their parents.


Overall, the Great Recession affected both men and women and played a hand in more people living at home. According to the report: “The Great Recession (and modest recovery) has also been associated with an increase in young adults living at home. Initially in the wake of the recession, college enrollments expanded, boosting the ranks of young adults living at home.


“And given the weak job opportunities facing young adults, living at home was part of the private safety net helping young adults to weather the economic storm.”


Student loans were not listed as a factor affecting young people.


There also was a correlation between educational attainment and whether people lived at home. People who completed a bachelor’s degree were less likely to live at home with their parents than those who did not.

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