More Young Adults Live With a Parent Than With a Spouse, Partner

young adult
AP Photo/Greg M. Cooper

For the first time in more than 130 years of record-keeping, young adults in the United States are more likely living with mom and dad than they are living with a spouse or partner.

Thirty-two percent of millennials adults aged 18-34 were living in their parents’ home in 2014, compared to 31.6 percent of millennials who live with a spouse or significant other, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data.

Another 14 percent of millennials live alone, or else are single parents. Twenty-two percent live in other circumstances.

“This turn of events is fueled primarily by the dramatic drop in the share of young Americans who are choosing to settle down romantically before age 35,” Pew’s analysis reads.

“Dating back to 1880, the most common living arrangement among young adults has been living with a romantic partner, whether a spouse or a significant other,” it continues. “This type of arrangement peaked around 1960, when 62% of the nation’s 18- to 34-year-olds were living with a spouse or partner in their own household, and only one-in-five were living with their parents.”

As Pew reports, the trend is most prevalent among young men, with 35 percent of male millennials opting for the comforts of mom and dad’s home, compared to 28 percent who were living with a spouse or partner in their own place.

Young women, on the other hand, are actually more likely to be living with a spouse (35 percent) than their parents (29 percent).

Marriage and cohabitation have been on the decline since 1990, according to Pew, which projects that one-in-four millennials will never marry. In addition to the decline in marriage, Pew also cites the economy as a central fact causing the adults’ retreat to mom and dad’s house — simply put, fewer young men have decent jobs.

“The share of young men with jobs peaked around 1960 at 84%. In 2014, only 71% of 18 to 34-year-old men were employed,” Pew reports. “Similarly with earnings, young men’s wages (after adjusting for inflation) have been on a downward trajectory since 1970 and fell significantly from 2000 to 2010. As wages have fallen, the share of young men living in the home of their parent(s) has risen.”

The phenomena also varies among racial and ethnic groups. Black (36 percent) and Hispanic (36 percent) young adults are more likely to live at home than are white (30 percent) young adults.

“White young adults are more likely to be living with a spouse or partner (36%),” the report reads. “But the trends are similar for all major racial and ethnic groups including whites: Since 1960, a greater share are living at home and fewer are married or [are] cohabiting and living in their own household.”


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