Millennials still living with parents despite economic gains

Millennials still living with parents despite economic gains

Study shows millennials still choosing to live with parents.

A new Pew Research analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data found that “the nation’s 18- to 34-year-olds are less likely to be living independently of their families and establishing their own households today than they were in the depths of the Great Recession.”

The study cited in a Chicago Tribune report, found that the unemployment rate for 18-34 year-old workers has decreased from it’s peak in 2010, and median wages for that same group has risen slightly.

Despite those results, the rate of young adults living independently has decreased to 67 percent in the first four months of 2015, down from 69 percent in 2010 and 71 percent in 2007.  The report defined living independently as “in a household headed by the adult, his or her spouse or unmarried partner, or some other person not related to the adult.”

The study also noted the percentage of young adults living with a parent increased from 24 percent in 2010 to 26 percent during the same time frame.

Student debt is a likely contributor, but Pew pointed out that the survey also contained data from young adults who did not attend college, and was distributed across varying types of college degrees and educational achievements.

The unemployment rate for 18-34-year-olds was 6.2 percent in 2007 and stands today at 7.7 percent, indicating the economy has not yet fully recovered for this group.  Median weekly earnings for the first third of 2015 are slightly lower, adjusted for inflation, while rent prices have increased.

William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution said, “I think the economy hasn’t improved long enough to have young people feel confident that they can both get a job and then provide their own living arrangements.” He also added,  “If we’re here four or five years from now and we see the same pattern, then I’ll be more willing to say that this is a long-term situation.”

The cause of the increase may not be only due to less income and doubts about future.  It seems living with the parents has become more socially acceptable than in years past, and young adults are waiting longer to get married than their parents did.


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