Parents, dreaming of living out your golden years in the peace and quiet of an empty nest? Think again. A new Pew Research Center report says young adults are more likely to live with their parents than as part of any other housing arrangement, for the first time in over 130 years.
As of 2014, over 32 percent of young Americans, ages 18 to 34, lived with their parents, instead of living with a partner or spouse. That, instead, has become the second most common living situation, with 31 percent of young adults choosing to live in a household with a partner.
To put it into perspective, just over 55 years ago, 62 percent of young adults were living with a partner.
So why the change? Pew Research Center offers a few explanations. For one thing, fewer Americans are getting married before 35. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median age of Americans first getting married has been steadily rising for several decades now.
“The really seismic change is that we have so many fewer young adults partnering, either marrying or cohabiting,” Pew Research Center senior economist Richard Fry told The New York Times. “In 1960, that silent generation left home earlier than any generation before or after, because they married so young.”
Employment trends also have contributed to the shift, with lower employment levels — as well as lower wages for younger workers — putting independence further out of reach for young people, according to Pew.
But it’s important to point out that the percentage of young adults living with their parents isn’t the highest it’s ever been. Indeed it peaked in 1940 with 35 percent of young adults living at home. But there’s one key difference. Back then a majority of young adults — 46 percent — were living with a partner, unlike today.
Young men are more likely than women to live with parents, as women are still slightly more likely to live with a partner.
Other living arrangements in the report included those who are living alone, with roommates or as single parents, and those who lived with another family member, non-relative or in group housing.
Interestingly, the trend seems to extend beyond our borders. Just under 50 percent of European young adults live with parents — though it varies country by country. But similar trends have also been seen in Canada, Japan and Australia.
Looks like living in mom’s basement isn’t all that uncommon anywhere.
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