Millennial moochers: Record 21.6million young adults still living with mom and dad
- A Pew Research Study found that 36 per cent of young adults ages 18-31 are living with their parents – the highest amount in four decades
- Researchers blame rising unemployment and college enrollment coupled with declining marriage rates
- Millennial men more likely than women to live at home
PUBLISHED: 09:05 EST, 2 August 2013 | UPDATED: 09:13 EST, 2 August 2013
Boomerang Generation: 21.6million millennials are living at home with their parents – the highest rate in four decades
A record 21.6million of the Peter Pan generation are refusing to flee the coop.
According to a Pew Research Center study released Thursday, 36 per cent of young adults ages 18 – 31 are living with their parents. That’s the highest percentage in four decades.
Researchers cited rising unemployment and college enrollment as basis for the trend, as well as millennials refusal to marry and remain single.
Unemployed millennials are obviously the most likely to live at home. Since the last time Pew collected information in 2007, unemployment has gone up seven per cent.
College students had a huge impact on the data. Researchers counted college-enrolled millennials as living at home, even if they are at school for most of the year.
However, the study had good news for those incurring college loans in spite of the shaky economy. Degrees are worth it since college-educated adults were much less likely to live at home after graduation.
Parents are the hardest hit by the trend, since most didn’t plan for the financial possibility of having to care for their children after age 18 or college.
It already costs about $300,000 to raise a child to age 17, and an added $160,000 if they decide to go to college.
Now financial advisors like Lynn Ballou are advising parents to save up for at least six to 12 months after graduation.
‘From where we’re sitting, it could be a good decade to work this out,’ Ballou told Today. ‘Hope for the best and plan for the worst. Assume your child is going to to launch until they’re in their late 20s.’
And this trend is harming more than just millennials parents, forced to dip into retirement and savings funds to care for a grown-up child.
But that doesn’t mean parents should treat their children the same, even if they’re still living under their roof.
‘They could be there forever if you don’t charge them some rent and make them do some chores,’ certified financial planner Sheryl Garrett told Today..
Even if their children can’t find a job they can make themselves useful by performing chores around the house, Garret said.
Also affected by the trend is the already struggling housing market.
With young adults opting to stay at home, rather than create their own, demand for new housing has dropped.
‘We need household formation to create demand for housing,’ Chapman University economist Esmael Adibi told the Los Angeles Times. ‘It doesn’t matter if they rent or buy…All of that is obviously good for the economy.’
But there is a chance that this trend won’t go away if the economy turns around. The amount of millennials living at home is so significant that researchers couldn’t explain it away with just unemployment statistics.
‘It’s not just the poor economy,’ Pew senior research associate Richard Fry told Today. ‘There indeed may be less stigma among young adults about living at home. Even when the economy fully recovers, the tendency may be to live at home longer.’