Parents’ Basement, the Dwelling of Choice for Millennials
In Y 2014, Americans 18 to 34 anni were a little bit likelier to be living in their parents’ home than with a spouse or partner in their own household, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of US Census Bureau data, released Tuesday. It is the 1st time that has happened in the Modern Era.
Young men have long been more likely than their female counterparts to be roommates with mom and/or dad.
The share of young men living in their parents’ homes most recently surpassed the share living with partners in their own households in Y 2009, but as of Y 2014, the crossover still had not happened for young women.
Still, the proportions of both male and female 18- to 34-year-olds living at home are high; 35% for the men, 29% for the women, and have grown in recent years, while the shares of those living with partners dove deep.
A similar scenario emerges when the data are broken down by education.
Young adults without bachelor’s degrees are more likely to live in their parents’ homes, which in Y 2008 became more common than residing with partners did.
By ethnicity, living with parents overtook living with a spouse or unmarried partner in Y 1980 for young Blacks, in Y 2007 for young American Indians/Alaska natives, and in Y 2011 for young Hispanics. Young Whites and Asians/Pacific Islanders were still more likely to live with partners in Y 2014.
Notably all of these classes are computer literate.
“Trends in living arrangements for specific groups of young adults indicate that the crossover is being driven by the experiences of more economically disadvantaged young adults, specifically, less-educated young adults and some racial and ethnic minorities,” the report shows.
While the overall proportion of 18- to 34-year-olds living with their parents did not peak in Y 2014, that occurred around Y 1940, the shares of young Blacks and Hispanics as well as young people without high school degrees living with parents were at their highest in recorded history.
The Big Q: What accounts for this meeting of trend lines, the recent rise in the percentage of young adults living with parents and the decline in those living with spouses or unmarried partners?
The Big A: The increase in the median age at 1st marriage for both men and women plays a big part. Another likely (and related) factor is the decline over the last several decades in both the share of employed young men and the level of their wages. The picture is not quite as clear for young women, who have seen their labor-market prospects improve, but those struggling young men may not be the most appealing partners.
The report also notes that “initially in the wake of the recession, college enrollments expanded, boosting the ranks of young adults living at home. And given the weak job opportunities facing young adults, living at home was part of the private safety net helping young adults to weather the economic storm.”
But “both the upswing in living with mom and dad and the decline in young adults partnering in their own household” have been “decades in the making,” said , the report’s authors, a senior fellow at the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at theUniversity of California-Berkeley has also looked at data on young Americans living with their parents over the last couple of decades
Though the data in the recent report go only through Y 2014, both authors observed that the share of young adults living with parents has not declined more recently. They notes that, “the increase in rents since the recession has made it harder for some young people to move out of their parents’ homes.”
These seem to be long-term shifts, not hordes of recession-wary millennials suddenly dashing from the altar to their parents’ basements. The share of young adults living in their parents’ home was almost exactly the same in Y 1900 as it was in Y 2014.
Millennials and their parents may just be more comfortable with living together.
A research professor of psychology at Clark University who studies “emerging adulthood,” said that during 20 years of researching this, he has seen “an increasing acceptance that it takes longer to grow up than it used to,” adding that there’s now less stigma attached to remaining at home with one’s parents.
“There’s a lot of good will between parents and children in this generation,” he said, adding that “boomers have succeeded in having these relationships with their children, that by the time they are in their twenties, it is almost like a friendship. It will never be quite like a friendship, but it is a lot closer to that than it was in previous generations.”
It is admirable that they have this kind of support from their parents” and their parents “can have this kind of close relationship before the emerging adults go off for the last time.
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