The percentage of young adults ages 18 to 34 living with parents or parents-in-law has risen sharply since the late 2000s, according to the most recent American Community Survey. One in three young adults – or more than 24 million – lived in homes of their parents or their parents-in-law in 2012. In 1990 and 2000, only one in four young adults lived with parents.
“Young adults aged 25 to 34 traditionally represent about half of all first-time home buyers,” notes the National Association of Home Builders in its blog, Eye on Housing. “Their delayed willingness and ability to leave parental homes and strike out on their own undoubtedly contributed to suppressing housing demand further during the Great Recession.”
Rising college costs, high unemployment, and unstable incomes are all sending and keeping more young adults home.
States with largest unemployment rates tend to have the most young adults living with their parents, according to the study. But even as unemployment rates began to decline, the percentage of young adults living at home remains high in states such as California and Florida.
Three Northeast states have the nation’s highest share of young adults living with their parents: New Jersey (45 percent); Connecticut (42 percent); and New York (41 percent). California and Florida follow with just slightly under 40 percent.
Meanwhile, the District of Columbia – known for having a stable job market – and North Dakota have some of the lowest percentages of young adults living at home, both under 20 percent.
“Declining shares of young adults living with parents in some states – Rhode Island, Montana, Wyoming, Maine, Delaware and New Mexico among others – could be one of the early signs that pent-up housing demand may finally start turning into realized housing demand,” the NAHB notes.