NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

More Young Adults Are Living With Their Parents

September 4, 2013

The share of young adults living with their parents edged up last year despite improvements in the economy -- a sign that the effects of the recession are lingering. In a report on the status of families, the U.S. Census Bureau recently said 13.6 percent of Americans ages 25 to 34 were living with their parents in 2012, up slightly from 13.4 percent in 2011. Though the trend began before the recession, it accelerated sharply during the downturn. In the early 2000s, about 10 percent of people in this age group lived at home, says the Wall Street Journal.

The figures are the latest evidence of the recession's continuing impact on young Americans, who are finding it harder to land jobs and take on the costs of setting up their own homes.

  • Demographers say joblessness during the recession and in its aftermath has fueled the trend of young adults living at home.
  • The percentage of 25 to 34 year olds living with parents climbed from 10.6 percent early in the 2000s to 11.8 percent in 2007, when the recession officially began. But after that the figure jumped sharply.

Richard Fry, an economist at Pew Research Center, said the rising share of young adults at home reflects changing attitudes about the phenomenon as well as economic pressures.

  • Recent surveys by Pew found more than 60 percent of people ages 18 to 34 knew someone who had moved back in with their parents because of the economy.
  • Four of five people ages 25 to 34 who were living with their parents were satisfied with the arrangement, according to Fry.

The latest findings have important implications for the nation's housing market and broader recovery, since they suggest fewer young Americans are buying houses, furniture and appliances -- purchases that fuel much of the country's economic growth.

While Americans are spending much more than they did during the throes of the recession, overall consumption growth has remained much weaker than in past recoveries.

Source: Neil Shah, "More Young Adults Live With Parents," Wall Street Journal, August 27, 2013.


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