Report: Mom and dad’s house most common home for young adults
Pew research shows more adults ages 18-34 live with parents than significant other
LA CROSSE, Wis. — A new report shows empty nests are becoming a less likely reality as more young adults are staying home with their parents.
According to the Pew Research Center, 2014 U.S. Census data shows that for the first time since 1880, more adults between the ages of 18 and 34 live with their parents (32.1 percent) than with a significant other (31.6 percent).
Experts say there are a variety of explanations for the trend, including millennials getting married later or not at all.
“I ask my marriage and family class this every semester, and they say they’re going to wait and not get married and pursue a romantic relationship until they have their education and career goals completed, and that’s taking longer and longer,” said Carol Miller, UW-La Crosse sociology professor.
Another reason is lack of money.
“For another chunk of them, especially the working class and lower class young adults, they aren’t capable of affording to live on their own in their own households,” Miller said. “So, they’re moving back in with mom and dad or never leaving mom and dad’s house to begin with.”
Some young adults like Aspen Popoutsis choose to stay with their parents while going to school.
“I decided I was going to live with my parents because it’s cheaper with all the like college expenses,” she said. “It’s nice to live at home, because it costs a lot less,”
Miller said it’s not always easy to pick out the driving force behind changing living trends.
“You never know which one comes first, the changing societal values or the changing economic financial situation of a society,” she said. “I tend to lean toward believing that economic financial situation is changing, and so people have to change the way they view family life.
But no matter the reason, she said there are implications of more adults waiting to start their own family.
“They’re likely to have fewer children because the window of opportunity to have children will decrease,” she said. “Another factor that has contributed to this is student loan debt has increased…then that means people won’t be buying houses and cars, because they’re waiting to make enough money to do that.”
According to Pew, more young men live with their parents (35 percent) than young women (29 percent), but the trend over the years of more young adults living with parents than with romantic partners cuts across demographics.