Young Adults Opting to Remain at Home

Even with lower unemployment rates, many Millennials still live at home with their families

By By Michael Chamernik, Associate Editor | October 13, 2015
Home Sweet Home sign—Millennials moving back in with parents

According to a Pew Research Center report, the nation’s 18-to-34-year-olds are less likely to be living independently now (owning their own homes or living in a place owned by someone other than a parent) than they were during the recession.

During the first four months of 2015, about 42.2 million 18-to-34-year-olds lived independently, which represents approximately 67 percent of people in that demographic.

In 2010, 69 percent of 18-to-34-year-olds lived independently, and 24 percent of Millennials lived at their parents’ homes. In 2015, 26 percent of young adults live at home.

Unemployment, however, is down significantly compared with five years ago. In 2010, the unemployment rate for people ages 18 to 34 was 12.4 percent; in the first third of this year the rate was 7.7 percent. Currently, the median weekly earnings for young adult workers is $574, up from $547 in 2012, according to the Pew Report.

Among other findings, the report says that the young-adult population hasn’t fueled demand for units, furnishings, or other household-related purchases. And it predicts that if more Millennials continue to live with their parents, the housing market won’t see any additional recovery.

The Chicago Tribune found that the typical first-time homebuyer rents for six years prior to buying; up from 2.6 years in the early 1970s. Younger adults are delaying milestones such as marriage, a stable career, and buying a home (the median first-time buyer is 33 years old), in part because of rising rents and home prices.

And as the average student-loan debt has substantially risen over the last two decades, staying at home has become the most financially acceptable choice for many young adults, especially those who attended college. According to The Wall Street Journal, the average debt for a student borrower was just under $10,000 in 1993, reached $20,000 in 2005, and, on average, is $35,000 for the Class of 2015. PB

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