Even though the economy and job market have vastly improved since the Great Recession, a record number of Millennials, also known as Gen Y, are still living with their parents. According to new research from Pew Research Center, 18–34-year-olds in the United States are actually less likely to live independently of their families than they were during the recession.
Surprisingly, the number of young adults heading their own households was slightly lower in 2015 (25 million) than it was before the recession began in 2007 (25.2 million).
What gives? Why do so many Millennials live at home?
Even though Millennials are more likely to hold full-time jobs and earn higher wages than before, money can still be a deciding factor in the choice to stay put. Perhaps there simply aren’t enough affordable houses or apartments in the cities where Millennials want to live (that is, close to Mom and Dad).
Another reason stems from a defining characteristic of the Millennial generation: delayed adulthood. Millennials aren’t hitting the traditional markers of adulthood—graduation, starting careers, marriage, having children, etc.—until many years after previous generations did when they were younger. Millennials simply haven’t had the real-world experience of forming strong commitments yet. Thus, they might be less loyal to their jobs, to products and brands, and to towns, cities or regions. Insider insight: this also means they’re still up for grabs.
Ultimately, living with Mom and Dad is a low-stakes option (not to mention low-rent!) because it doesn’t tie Millennials down. They can continue to job hop, travel or go back for another degree, knowing that they always have a place to come home to—one that comes with free food and unlimited Wi-Fi.
Are you a Millennial who decided to continue living with your parent(s) or a parent who recently welcomed your Millennial child back home? Tweet us your thoughts and experiences at @WhatTheGen and @JasonDorsey to weigh in on the conversation.