A shift in demographics has led to a larger number of millennials living with their parents. A survey conducted by The Pew Research Center found that for the first time on record, the most common living arrangement for young adults is living back at home with 32% of millennials following this trend.
This change comes from a drop in the percentage of young adults settling down romantically before age 35. What used to be the most common living arrangement, 62% in 1960, is now only followed by 31% of millennials. This percentage differs between men and women, with 35% of men living with parents in 2014 and 29% of women.
Employment status and wages earned are a likely cause of young adults living with parents. This is especially true in men, as they are more likely to live at home if unemployed and the percent of men with jobs has fallen to 71% from 84% in 1960. In relation, earnings have decreased steadily since 1970, increasing the amount of young men living with their parents. For women, wages have typically grown since 1960, suggesting economic factors are not the reason for the rise of young females living at home. It is suggested that perhaps the rise in young females living at home is correlated to the rise in young men living at home. Another large factor is educational background. Young adults without a Bachelor’s Degree are most likely to live with parents at 36%, with only 19% of young adults with a Bachelor’s Degree living at home. Among the black and Hispanic communities, 2014 showed record highs for living at home with parents at 36%.
This socioeconomic shift comes with a lot of factors. College graduates are experiencing record levels of student debt and cost of housing has increased exponentially. Most notably, the age in which young adults marry has steadily risen for decades, with many foregoing marriage altogether. The reason this demographic takes the reigns is due to the fact that the percent of young adults living with their parents is higher than the percent living with a spouse or romantic partner for the first time on record.
How does this all play into the ongoing conversation about millennials and their way of life? Are millennials completely different than Gen X and Baby Boomers or are all of these factors intertwined in such a way that affects millennials more than it ever affected those who came before them?
The original research and article by the Pew Research Center can be found here.