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Do Many Young People Still Live at Home?

Updated: May 17, 2024

While the coronavirus has caused the forced separation of much of society, it has also brought one demographic back home. According to the Pew Research Center, more Americans ages 18 to 29 are living with their parents than at any time since the Great Depression. In fact, as of July 2020, a whopping 52 percent of that age bracket -- or 26.6 million people -- were living with one or both parents, an increase of 5 percent (2.6 million people) from February.

The trend has affected young men and women of all races and geographic areas. The economic impact of the pandemic hit the 18-to-29 age group particularly hard because it not only shut off job opportunities but also slowed or stopped educational advancement. According to Pew, 23 percent of those who moved back in with their parents said they did so because their schools had closed; 18 percent cited employment loss or lack of job opportunities.

There is no similar data for the time of the Great Depression, but the last time the rate of moving home was recorded at such a high level was 1940, just after the Depression, when 48 percent of young people remained at or returned home.

Moving home or staying put:

  • Before the coronavirus, the top reason cited by most young adults for moving home was the breakup of a relationship.

  • Thirty percent of all young adults who have not moved home are getting some or all of their rent paid by their parents.

  • The average American will move nearly 12 times in his or her lifetime.

America Explained is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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