In 2014, 32 percent of young adults were living in their parents’ home compared with 31.6 percent of those living with a spouse or partner in their own household.
“How can we miss you when you won’t go away?”
Parents may find themselves singing that Dan Hicks lyric following a new Pew Research Center analysis of census data that finds that in 2014, for the first time in more than 130 years, Millennials ages 18-to-34-year olds were slightly more likely to be living in their parents’ home than they were to be living with a spouse or partner in their own household.
“Broad demographic shifts in marital status, educational attainment and employment have transformed the way young adults in the U.S. are living,” the Pew report states. Dating back to 1880, Pew notes, young adults were most likely to live with a romantic partner—whether a spouse or significant other. This type of arrangement peaked around 1960, when six-in-ten (62 percent) of the nation’s 18-to-34-year olds were living in their own household with a spouse or partner. Only one-in-five lived with their parents.
By 2014, 32 percent of young adults were living in their parents’ home compared with 31.6 percent of those living with a spouse or partner in their own household. Some 14 percent of young adults were the head of a household in which they lived alone, were a single parent or lived with one or more roommates. The remaining 22 percent lived in the home of another family member (a grandparent, in-law or sibling), a non-relative or in group quarters such as a college dormitory.
Pew notes that the overall share of young adults living with their parents did not reach a record high in 2014. This arrangement saw its peak in 1930, when just over one-third of the nation’s 18-to-34-year olds living with a parent or parents. “What has changed, the report states, “is the relative share adopting different ways of living in early adulthood, with the decline of romantic coupling pushing living at home to the top of a much less uniform list of living arrangements.”
Millennial men, Pew finds, are the most likely to become so-called “boomerang children.” In 2014, 35 percent of young adult men were living in the home of at least one parent, while 28 percent were living in their own home with a spouse or partner. In comparison, 35 percent of young women were living with a spouse, while 29 percent were living in a parent’s home.
The economic collapse has been blamed in large part for driving young adults back to a parent’s home. In 2012, an AP survey found that half of college graduates were unemployed or underemployed. Thus, Millennials have been putting off such rites of passage as living on their own, getting married and starting a family.
A 2015 Spectrem Group Investor Pulse survey found that four-in-ten Millennials still believe that owning a home is one of the tenets of the American Dream, compared with educational opportunities (56 percent), having sufficient retirement funds (46 percent) and job security (41 percent).
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.