Millennial independence? Young people living at home up 30 percent in last decade

  • Apr. 25, 2017 12:30 a.m.

If you’re a parent wondering when your children, well into their late 20s, are finally going to fly from the nest, you might want to settle in.

A report released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the trend of young people living at home — by young, the study means those ages 18 to 34 — is only deepening.

Whereas some 26 per cent of young adults still lived at home in 2005, census numbers show that in 2015 that number had risen to just over 34 per cent, a more than 30 per cent jump in a single decade.

Breaking the numbers down further, the report, The Changing Economics and Demographics of Young Adulthood: 1975-2016, said that in 2005, a narrow majority of some 51 per cent of young people were said to be living “independently” — meaning not with parents or roommates. That was no longer the case a decade later.

By 2015, just 40.7 per cent of young adults were living independently as single or married adults or with a romantic partner.

Nearly 60 per cent lived at home or with a roommate.

If younger adults are looking for those states where the majority of their peers are living independently, they’ll find that number has shrunk to six.

Only in the more affordable states of Kansas (51 per cent), Iowa (55 per cent), Nebraska (54 per cent), North Dakota (60 per cent), South Dakota (57 per cent) and Wyoming (55 per cent) do more than half of younger adults live independently as single individuals or in committed romantic relationships.

Missouri sits close to the cusp at 48 per cent living independently. In states with higher costs of living such as New Jersey, New York and California, only 33.1 per cent of young adults are living independently in each.

The report, which also compared statistics about young adults from the 1970s to today, notes that “today’s young adults look different from prior generations in almost every regard.”

Highlights include:

l In the 1970s, 80 per cent of people got married by age 30. Today, 80 per cent get married by age 45.

l In 1975, a quarter of young men ages 25 to 35 were making less than $30,000 in 2015 dollars. By 2016, that number had risen to 41 per cent.

l From 1975 to 2016, the percentage of young women working as “homemakers” fell from 43 per cent to 14 per cent.

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