Staying At Home With a Parent Is Now the Most Common Living Arrangement for Millennials
WASHINGTON, DC — For the first time in more than 130 years, young adults were more likely to be living in their parents’ home than they were to be living with a spouse or partner in their own household, according to the Pew Research Center.
The change is due to several factors that include the postponement of marriage and employment status, and the study’s findings have significant implications for marketers focused on reaching Millennials.
Thirty-five is now the median age of first marriage, this figure has been rising steadily for decades, and a growing share of young adults may be eschewing marriage altogether, according to the report. A previous Pew Research Center analysis projected that as many as one-in-four of today’s young adults may never marry. While cohabitation has been on the rise, the overall share of young adults either married or living with an unmarried partner has substantially fallen since 1990.
The Great Recession has also contributed to the trend, both employment status and wages have likely contributed to the growing share of young adults who are living in the home of their parents, and this is especially true of young men.
Employed young men are much less likely to live at home than young men without a job, and employment among young men has fallen significantly in recent decades. The share of young men with jobs peaked around 1960 at 84%. In 2014, only 71% of 18- to 34-year-old men were employed. Similarly with earnings, young men’s wages have been on a downward trajectory since 1970 and fell significantly from 2000 to 2010, after adjusting for inflation. As wages have fallen, the share of young men living in the home of their parents has risen.
Economic factors seem to explain less of why young adult women are increasingly likely to live at home. Young women have had growing success in the paid labor market since 1960 and hence might increasingly be expected to be able to afford to live independently of their parents. For women, delayed marriage—which is related, in part, to labor market outcomes for men—may explain more of the increase in their living in the family home.
Other key findings:
- The growing tendency of young adults to live with parents predates the Great Recession. In 1960, 20% of 18- to 34-year-olds lived with mom and/or dad. In 2007, before the recession, 28% lived in their parental home.
- IIn 2014, 40% of 18- to 34-year-olds who had not completed high school lived with parents, the highest rate observed since the 1940 Census when information on educational attainment was first collected.
- Young adults in states in the South Atlantic, West South Central and Pacific United States have recently experienced the highest rates on record of living with parents.
The full Pew Research Center study is available here.
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