Today’s young adults are closer to their parents than any generation before—literally. Record numbers of Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are still living at home well into their late twenties and even early thirties. New research shows that while this isn’t necessarily the only time in the country’s history that this has happened, this particular set of circumstances is unique.
A recent Pew Research Center report revealed that more young women in particular are living at home than ever before; in 1940, 36.2% of 18- to 34-year-old women lived with parents or other relatives. However, Pew’s research found that in 2014, 36.4% of young women are living with parents or other relatives.
But Millennial women aren’t the only ones moving back home in droves. Pew found that 42.8% of Millennial men were also living with their parents or family members in 2014. However, this number is actually lower than it was in 1940.
Additionally, more women are attending college and postgraduate programs than ever before. According to Inside Higher Ed, women earned nearly two-thirds (65.9 percent) of graduate certificates, 59 percent of master’s degrees and 52.2 percent of doctorates. While getting an advanced degree and building a household of one’s own does not have to be mutually exclusive, completing postgraduate work tends to delay earning a living salary, which in turn delays when these ambitious young women start families and begin living independently.
And don’t blame the economy. Even though young adult unemployment rates have recently declined and wages have increased, even fewer young Americans are living independently now than they were during the height of the Great Recession in 2007.
Rising housing costs and crippling student debt don’t help the matter either. As a recent Fortune article reported, a 2014 Federal Reserve working paper found that the burden of student loans accounts for almost a third of the increase of Millennials moving back home. A 2015 Federal Reserve Bank of New York report found that for every $10,000 a young adult owes in student debt, he or she is two percent more likely to move back home.
Are you a Millennial who has recently moved back home? Have you recently welcomed your Millennial child—or children!—back into your home? Tweet us @WhatTheGen and @JasonDorsey to join the conversation!