Nearly one-third of U.S. adults between 18 and 34, a group commonly referred to as "millennials", live with their parents, a new survey shows.
It’s the first time since 1880, when record-keeping began, that more people of this age are living at home rather than with a spouse, according to 2014 census data analyzed by the Pew Research Center.
“Young adults are not simply less likely to be married; they are forgoing partners altogether, whether spouses or cohabiting partners, wrote Richard Fry, the lead author of the study.
To put this trend in some perspective, in 1960 more than 60 percent of U.S. young adults were married or cohabiting and residing in their own household. That dropped to 32 percent in 2014.
Furthermore, the median age for a first time marriages continues to rise. According to The New York Times, the median age for a first marriage was 20 for women and 22 for men in 1960. Now, it’s 27 and 29 respectively. Pew estimates nearly one quarter of millennials will never marry.
“This is neither the best nor the worst development we’ve seen in family life,” said Andrew J. Cherlin, a sociologist at Johns Hopkins University in an interview with the Times. “It violates our cultural sense of how young adults should live their lives. But in Italy, an even greater percentage live with the parents, and no one sees it as problem. Families can feel closer to each other and have longer times together.”
Pew found that millennials not living with their parents lived alone, with relatives, in university housing or with roommates, the report said.
The stay-at-home trend was most pronounced among those without a college degree. Young men were more likely to live with their parents than young women, and African-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans, especially from less affluent backgrounds, were more likely to be still at home.
The driving forces behind this shift are the decline in marriage overall and the continuing economic hangover of the 2008 Great Recession.
Young adults living at home also has wider implications for the economy and could help explain continued slow economic growth, because fewer new households means less demand for furniture, household appliances or even cable television subscriptions.