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Reshaping the American Dream: Millennials and Gen Z Struggle to Leave the Nest

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Market Data + Trends

Reshaping the American Dream: Millennials and Gen Z Struggle to Leave the Nest

Report finds one in five Millennials and two-thirds of Gen Z are taking longer to leave home compared with previous generations

November 8, 2023
Millennial and Gen Zer moving back home into multigenerational household
Image: auremar / stock.adobe.com

A recent multigenerational living report from RentCafe based on IPUMS (Integrated Public Use Microdata Series) data indicates a growing trend: Millennials and Gen Zers are living with family well into adulthood and eschewing the traditional trajectory of leaving the family home when they turn 18. 

Though reasons for continuing to live with family are varied, financial- or health-related circumstances are often at play in the decision, and these individuals are likely to be employed in the food services, construction, or education sectors, according to the report.

The trend also is more pronounced in some metros than in others. Los Angeles—where the cost of living is high—leads in multigenerational households, with 35% of LA Millennials and 81% of Gen Zers living with family. Similarly, in Miami, New York, and Washington, D.C., about a quarter of Millennials are struggling to leave the nest. But it's Raleigh, N.C., that takes the top spot for Gen Zers still living with family (87% in 2022). In contrast, some metros, notably Cincinnati and Milwaukee, are seeing steep declines in young people continuing to live with their family. 

The report found that: 

  • 20% of over 72 million Millennials live with family members nowadays — more than previous generations like Gen X (17%) and Baby Boomers (18%) when they were the same age.  

  • 68% of nearly 33 million adult Gen Z-ers (over 18) live with their family members, compared to 61% of Baby Boomers and 66% of Millennials who lived with relatives at the same age. 

  • Over 40% of Millennials and Gen Z don't anticipate moving out within two years. And what’s even more surprising is that 14% of Millennials and 6% of Zoomers foresee living with family for 10+ years.  

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