For a while now, we’ve been hearing about the large numbers of millennials flocking home to live with mom and dad. Now comes evidence suggesting just how prevalent it’s become.
For the first time in more than 130 years, young adults between the ages of 18 and 34 are more likely to be living at home with parents than in any other type of living arrangement, according to a Pew Research study released Tuesday.
The study, which used data from 2014, found that the percentage of 18- to 34-year-olds living in a parent’s home was 32.1 percent — higher than those married or cohabiting in a household (31.6 percent), those living alone (14 percent) and those in some other type of arrangement (22 percent).
The reasons for the shift?
Start with young adults’ reluctance to marry early — or ever. As the study’s author, Richard Fry, points out, the median age of first marriage in the country has increased steadily for decades. Meanwhile a Pew study released in 2014 found that “as many as one in four of today’s young adults may never marry.”
Shifts in employment and pay may also play a role. The Great Recession, Fry notes, has probably sent (or kept) more young adults home, as has the steady, decades-long decline in both employment and wages for young adult men.
The study’s findings also revealed a notable gender disparity among those living with parents. While young adult women are still considerably more likely to be living with a spouse or significant other than with their parents, men have actually been bunking up back home at a significant rate for years.
“For men ages 18 to 34, living at home with mom and/or dad has been the dominant living arrangement since 2009,” the study notes.
Among the study’s other findings: Less-educated individuals are more likely to live at home with parents, and black and Hispanic young adults are more likely to be living with parents than are white young adults.
Compared to some other countries, however, the number of American millennials living with parents remains relatively low.
In a separate analysis released Tuesday, for instance, Pew pointed out that 48.1 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds in the European Union’s 28 nations lived with their parents in 2014 — a significantly higher number than here in the US.
Dugan Arnett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.