It's official: More young adults live with parents

A new census study reports that 10% of women and 19% of men 25 to 34 are living with their parents, a significant increase since 2005.

By Teresa at MSN Real Estate Nov 3, 2011 12:39PM

Girl looking at couple (© Image Source/SuperStock)The U.S. Census Bureau has just released a new report confirming what we already know: More young adults are living with their parents.

According to data released today, among people ages 25-34, 10% of women and 19% of men live with their parents. That's up from 8% of women and 14% of men in 2005.

What's interesting is that the trend started before the recession, meaning it's not just the economy that's keeping your kid living in your basement.

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"The increase in 25- to 34-year-olds living in their parents’ home began before the recent recession, and has continued beyond it," Rose Kreider, a family demographer with the Census Bureau, said in a news release.

Among people 18 to 24 years old, 59% of men and 50% of women live with parents (or in a college dorm, which was counted as living with parents). That's up from 53% of men and 46% of women in 2005.

The information is part of a new report called America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2011, which was taken from the 2011 Current Population Survey.


A few other tidbits from the report that may have an effect on trends in real estate:

  • The percentage of households made up of just one person has risen from 13% in 1960 to 28% in 2011.
  • Married couples with children make up 20% of all households, down from 40% in 1970.
  • The average number of people per household was 2.58 in 2011, the same percentage as in 2011. Though there are slight fluctuations year over year, household size has been declining since at least 1960, when it was 3.33.

Those changes in household composition go along with a trend toward smaller homes and the popularity of urban living. As fewer households have children, the quality of school districts in city centers is less important to homebuyers than proximity to shops and services.

Dec 24, 2011 6:05AM
i`m 30 yrs. old, single, work 2 jobs & i have too much pride in me to move back home with my parents. 
Nov 26, 2011 12:34PM
two of my three kids graduated from college...they cannot find good jobs in their fields.  the one who skipped college works for a national company and is successful out on his own.  if my kids need help in this economy, i will do what i can.  they do not have an entitled attitude about life, but are willing to work hard and earn their keep. they welcome the chance to get their lives going without any help.  as a mom, i hate to see them go, but realize it's what i raised them to do, and will revel in their successes.
Nov 26, 2011 9:39AM

When families move in together, it is not just helping the children.  Our move together, as I described below, was mutual.  We were considering the future and the future of our families.  My parents will be retiring soon and will have the financial means with which to do so. 


When other people were supersizing their lives, buying larger homes and bigger cars, we went against the trend.  People thought we were crazy, but we knew we weren't.  We wanted a future that was as bright and shiny as our past, giving us all of the things that we knew we would need--a family, most of all. 


All of the things we have today are the things that fit into our downsized homes.  We do not need extras--there is no need to have an excess of things to fill up a life when you spend your time enjoying it. 


I wouldn't trade this lifestyle...  It certainly wouldn't work for everyone, but I would hardly dismiss it for pride or for lack of a better alternative. 

Nov 26, 2011 9:33AM

There is nothing wrong with families living together. If it works for them then great. I have lived with my parents as well my mother in law. My husband, children and I are finally out on our own. We probably would have been out on our own alot sooner but we were in a living situation where no boundaries had been set as well as no expectations(i.e. how long we'd be there, what we'd pay for or do in exchange for not paying rent). I'll admit that we took advantage of the situation. My husband and I both knew what we needed to be doing but weren't doing it. it was only because of a falling out with my MiL, that we were forced to figure out what we were going to do. My parents let us move in with them but we had a deadline for how long we could be with them. We ended up buying a house in an older neighborhood . It's hard but we are doing it. While we are grateful for our parents allowed us to live with them and didn't force us out onto the streets, we know we should have been out on our own all along.


Nov 26, 2011 8:02AM

I agree with the comments of those in support of families banding together (if needed and desired) to better their lives and the lives of so many others. I have said for a very long time that our society is full of greed and that is the driving force of AMERICA ... don't get me wrong people ... I skirt on the edge of hypocrisy because I am just as guilty of wanting MORE as the next guy. I temper my greed with the knowledged that the world has given me. I have seen those in great need and have been in great need myself ... all we have to do is take a good honest look in the mirror and AROUND US. What is the need for more and bigger ... what really is the point. What are we teaching our young people ... I'll tell you what I think ... we are hypnotized by the theseet taste immediate gradification ...  my friends, this is a slippery slope. If you think not, then I am glad for you that you are not one of the mass population, and you would be wise to count YOUR blessings without passing judgement on others of those less fortunate. Your overabundance is the only explanation for not seeing the great need and false hope of this country and any of those who think that the more and bigger things we have is BETTER. There is no blace and white to life ... most of the time. We can only know the true nature of the life of whos shoes we walk in ... peace and love

Nov 26, 2011 7:55AM
I would not let my adult children move in with me EVER. I found my own way in life, so can they. We as a country have invited illegals to do all the jobs I did until I finished college (with two children in tow as a custodial father getting no child support). My folks made the same rule, no boomerang children. I have done my job, and it is over. I raised one grandchild from the time she was 1 (and in fostercare) until she was 4, but children who cannot take care of themselves through no fault of their own are the exception.
Nov 26, 2011 7:36AM
This generation of kids is so spoiled!  They are picky about choosing a job.  They don't want the menial work that our generation was willing to take.  When I was in my 20's, I was willing to take ANY job as long as it paid the bills and I did!  i REALIZED that my having a teaching degree did NOT entitle me to a teaching job and expecting my parents to take care of me was unthinkable. I helped my Dad pay my college expenses by working in a slaughtering house and after graduating, took a lot of receptionist jobs before finally getting a teaching position. I didn't own a car until I was 26.

This generation of kids feels entitled.  They've grown up with all the latest electronic gadgets that their parents (generalizing) have given them and expect that a great job will just show up one of these days! They are a lazy lot and not willing to suffer a bit to get started in the job market. If they graduated from college, they especially think they're too good for this or that job.  I don't feel sorry for these kids...I feel sorry for their parents who indulge them.  I'm in Seattle and there are many jobs here. Maybe working at McDonald's is not the ideal job, but in my generation, you didn't even THINK about whether you would like it or was NOT about liking a job.  It was about paying your bills and not depending on Mom and Dad!!
Nov 26, 2011 5:47AM

I am twenty-six years old & a wife & mother. My family moved in with my parents a little over a year ago. At the time my husband could only find work with a temp agency. He was working around the clock for pennies & no benefits. At the same time, I was transitioning from my styling job in a salon to my new job as a stay at home mom for my newborn son, but I still did hair/makeup from home. Even with my income, we were unable to save anything.

My parents invited us into my childhood home so that we cold save as much as possible & buy our own home. It has been hard, but not a day goes by that I don't thank my parents. My husband was able to use his GI Bill to go to truck driving school fulltime. He now has a steady job & we have benefits. My parents get extra help around the house & are able to see their grandson everyday. Best of all, my son & I are surrounded by the people that love us most & in the spring we'll be house hunting!

I'm sure there are those that live in their parent's basement until they're forty for no better reason than that they can. However, lumping a family like mine into that group is beyond insulting.

Nov 26, 2011 4:52AM
Sure, we all want our kids to move out into a better world.  Unfortunately our methods have failed them.  We allowed them to think that FIRST you get what you want THEN you pay for it.  Had we taught them (and ourselves) that FIRST you save for what you want, THEN you get it would have been the better lesson. Delayed gratification is something we have deprived them of.  Now we see the result. We can only hope that this lesson will be taught to our grandkids.
Nov 26, 2011 4:51AM

Nine years ago my husband and I moved in with my parents.  We bought and remodeled a duplex so that I could afford to stay home with my children.  I had two young boys at the time and was already staying home but we wanted to have a more secure financial future.  Two years later, we remodeled the attic into a completely separate third apartment and my sister moved in with her husband and (then) one child.  Today the home houses six adults and five children in three separate apartments.  It was one of the smartest things we've ever done--we have not felt the economic pinch at all, and my children get to live close to family. 


Now, I'm no longer a stay-at-home mother.  My children are all in school and I have gone back to work as a teacher.  We have six working adults in our home and yet there is still always someone who can babysit or who can help out in a pinch.  Perhaps people think that we grew up without learning how to exist without our parents, but the truth is that we made decisions that valued family over money at a time when people weren't even feeling an economic crunch.  The housing market was booming and yet we all downsized and moved to the city (closer to all of our jobs).  We all became greener, using our cars less and walking more, and all of us are healthier. 


I hope more people in the world choose this option instead of thinking that you have to "prove" yourself--raping the world and your fellow man at the same time. 


If you want to see more about it, take a look at our blog:  w w w .   Though it costs a fraction of what our former life wouldn't notice that we're missing anything.  In fact, I feel like we've gained more than ever.



Nov 3, 2011 11:28PM

I don't think this article says pro or con about our "Young adults"  living at home. Just that more are living at home now days. Of course families living together is wonderful and I too would welcome my family back home no matter the reason..


We all know that all families don't get along, this would present problems at home. Our economy is awful and going down hill. I don't think the housing problem will ever be resolved. It wasn't the housing bubble that gave our children a meek future, it was us parents and irresponsible people that gave this problem to our children. Ever since many said that every one should have the American dream and then made it ever so easy to do so with the none overseeing sub prime mortgages lenders etc. 


Soon every one who could not afford a mortgage was buyi8ng houses and not just houses but very lage houses as well. Many people and a lot of young couples were buying houses with no down payment, no closing cost, no lawyer fees(because most chose not to hire one because of cost) etc. Many people said  " I want it now and I want it big "  Soon we all had it all huge four by fours , two not one. New huge house , many with barely any furniture the one thing they could not include in the mortgage, smile. No one was hardly buying existing homes , every one had to have a NEW one..Many  many jobs were created by this and the econmy multiplied, but there were many living on borrowed time before they could not afford it any more. These jobs that were created were false economy growing. Like the person who racks up the credit card and has no discipline at some point they are not going to be able to make even the minimum payment and eventually belly up.. We all did it to our young children and young adults for the pleasure of having it all for a little while only...


My wife and I saved our  20 percent , closing cost , lawyer fees etc. and had a plan.. I always save first then buy when I have the cash ready.Most of the time I'm not the first to have the newest things etc. But I do eventually have it. I feel for the future of my grand children but I feel guilt free as well.....


Perhaps the human being will one day change  but I think it is much to ask for............Good luck to us all and especially the young adults....

Nov 3, 2011 9:31PM
.... Hey..... "I want off the grid".... a meager paycheck is better than "NO" paycheck,   and this escalator you talk about... where was that ever in the real world...?

Kids live with their parents because they are kids who were never taught to exist without them...!

MOMMY... DADDY... it's hard living on my own... I'm scared... nobody hands me everything like you guys did.... can I move back home with you.....

Why don't you bleeding heart parents teach your "kids" how to stand up on their own two feet like adults... or maybe you can't teach anybody anything... because you haven't got a brain...!  That's what it sounds like and looks like...!

LOSERS...!!!   LMAO at you and millions of others are also.....who were successful in raising normal kids who are real adults today... and not failures like their parents....! 

What a slap in the face that is huh...? LOL !!!!

Nov 3, 2011 7:03PM
Since when was it so bad for children to live with family?   It amazes me how we stress self-sustainable technologies, but what about self-sustainable societal structures, or self-sustainable financial structures?  These are things we are lacking and hasn't changed much since the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century.   Extended families living in one house or compound for generations where one household is over 1000 years old is common in Europe.  It's actually very good since we are not forced to expand and destroy precious earth with new infrastructure.   I welcome the fact my children would live with me for the rest of my life, they can still have their private life, and do whatever they want, because now I will treat them like friends and fellow adults!  There's always a better more self-sustainable way of doing things!
Nov 3, 2011 6:23PM
I would welcome my children back home if they fell on hard times. Fortunely, my chidren both are married and have jobs. family is the only thing that matters to me in this uncertain and cruel world we live in.
Nov 3, 2011 5:24PM
Kids started staying home due to the rapid rise of housing. That housing bubble put our kids in an untenable position. Now that homes are being foreclosed on still those homeowners are now renting creating a rental crisis. Kids just can't catch a break. And the fortunate who do have homes and space are having their kids stay, it was inevitable. Sad but true. I wish my kids could get out and experience living on their own. The plus side, well, they help pay the utilities. Every bit counts.
Nov 3, 2011 5:15PM

The very fabric of American Society is breaking down and you want a 18+er to be able to go out into it and smoothly transition -despite a sucKy economy( jobs,meager paychecks & more taxes,limited opportunities etc.)

...Let's face it: the way it was in the past decades is over. All you had to do was "step on the escalator"in the American system and stay on it til you graduated- and then,you obtained a job.Now the "escalator" is broken.

So , this limit-setting psycho analyzing talk about how to relate within a family is fine & dandy but it's nowhere near getting close to what  inherently creating this problem of "kids" returning home in the first place-and even more importantly,how to go about fixing it.. The external world is going down the toilet and their talking about psychodynamics amoungst folks who trying to adjust to these social changes.There's SO many more social issues that also need to be adddresed!Then we'll be able to see these kids go out the doors and create productive lives....Just sayin'


My heart goes out to both parents and children. But try and think outside the box. Let's end exclusionary zoning so a single-wide mobile home is an option. How about a quality made formaldehyde free 30 foot single-wide at 400 square feet that could be home to one or two people. Want more room? Buy two or more and connect them. Each family member could have his/her own unit with a common unit for the kitchen/great room that has the big screen TV where you’d receive company and entertain. Think versatility, flexibility and mobility. When it’s time to move then you could just buy a new lot at the new location and simply relocate all the units there or not. The idea is to have choices. As far as property taxes are concerned. Local governments could have a minimum base. Say for example if your property is worth less than the base then the base is used for property tax purposes. That way local governments could insure everyone is paying a fair share of the cost of government. When it comes time for a child to go off to college or otherwise leave the nest, well their unit would make a nice parting gift. It would be a whole lot cheaper and convenient than dorm living. After graduation just move the unit to the new job. Remember we’re talking about a quality built unit that could last more than one lifetime virtually maintenance free.

Everyone needs his/her own space. This is a problem and exclusionary zoning isn't helping. If you're afraid of who might be living next door just remember that almost everyone just wants to live a happy life. So try and get over your fear and lets solve problems together instead of running away from them. Because problems left unsolved have a way of catching up eventually. Besides exclusionary zoning we have over population, global warming, the bankrupting cost of health care. The solutions are out there if we find the courage to embrace them.

Nov 3, 2011 4:14PM
Kids/Mini adults can't budget their money. They are the entitled as they think, buy what you work for and WORK for the rest.
Nov 3, 2011 3:58PM
Are you kidding me my kids can live with me as long as they want we are all very close and I will do anything for my kids.
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