Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Grown-up and live with your parents? You're not alone!

Posted By on Wed, May 25, 2016 at 11:30 AM

Call it a sign of the times, call it "laziness," call it prudent financial sense, but the numbers don't lie.

The Pew Research Center just released a summary of its census data analysis on young American's living arrangements, which found that adults in the 18-34 age bracket living with their parents have now edged out rates of those living with a spouse or partner in their own household.

This trend is an indicator of another modern lifestyle movement — most young people are not settling down into traditional romantic partnerships or marriages before they turn 35.

The percentage difference between young adults who are living with a spouse or partner, as compared to living with their parents, is small, but it's the first time this trend has reversed in 130 years. At the time of the last census in 2014, 31.6 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds were living with a spouse or partner. Comparatively, the Pew study found that 32.1 percent of people in that age group were living with their parents, a .5 percentage difference. 

Less than half of those not living with their parents (14 percent) were heading their own household in which they lived alone, living as a single parent, or with one or more roommates. The rest, 22 percent, shared a home with another relative, non-relative or in group quarters (including college dorms). 

While this trend reflects recent demographic shifts in marriage, as well as finance and education, Pew points out that the rate of young people living at home is not at the highest it's ever been. That was in 1940, when about 35 percent of people in the 18- to 34-age group were living with their parents. Of course, in that era, it was commonplace for couples to not cohabitate until after marriage. 

The study also found several differences between genders when it came to living at home or not. More men live at home (35 percent) than with a spouse/partner (28 percent), while women are more likely to live with a partner (35 percent) than with their parents (29 percent).

While the Great Recession is considered to have contributed to more young people living with mom and/or dad, the study notes that this trend was rising before then, as 28 percent of 18- to 34-year olds lived at home in pre-recession year 2007.

So, fellow young adults, don't be ashamed to say you're living with mom or dad — you're clearly not alone. At age 28, I was one of you until very recently, and while it was an awkward thing to bring up amongst casual acquaintances (the need to justify it to others was always there), it was a financially smart choice I made, and which I don't regret.

Read the rest of the Pew analysis findings here.

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About The Author

Chey Scott

Chey Scott is the Inlander's food and listings editor. She compiles the weekly events calendar for the print and online editions of the Inlander, manages and edits the food section, and also writes about local arts and culture. Chey (pronounced Shay) is a lifelong Spokanite and a graduate of Washington State University...