14% of 20yo's still live with their parents?!

I read an article talking about how ‘Gen Y’ has a much higher percentage of young adults who still live with their parents. Embarassingly, I was one of these individuals, until getting fed up with it and finally moving out at 24.

I didn’t realize how common this was. What is up with this surge in unmotivated, directionless individuals? Is it the way we raise children? The job market? housing costs?

What exactly changed in the past 20/30/40 years in regards to children living with their parents for longer and longer?

Was that counting college students? Do you have a link? Because with rising tuition, a lot of my friends still live at home and go to a more local school to save cash.

Was that article claiming it was 14% of “20 year-olds”, or 14% of “people in their 20’s”. Hell, either way, that stat is a load of crap. There’s no way that 86% of 20 year-olds have moved out on their own.

I don’t know what the stats are for kids going away to college, but let’s be extremely generous and call it 50%. That means that another 36% of kids, who aren’t even old enough to drink yet, are saying “Well, time I got out on my own – hand me the Real Estate section of paper, willya?”

I know of exactly one person who was living on his own at 20, and that’s just because the home life was worse than being homeless.

Considering such factors as the job market and housing costs, it seems overly harsh to dismiss the trend as simply “unmotivated, directionless individuals.” I had to move home for two short stints between earning degrees and finding jobs, but I went back out on my own as soon as I was financially able to do so. My family and I agreed it made more sense to save as much money as I could while I looked for work, without pissing it away on expensive rent in tiny apartments in the same town. Would I move back in with them again? Hell no. Is it a necessity for some 20-somethings in this day and age? Yes, and not just among the slackers and washouts.

Does it count students who live in a dorm during the school year (and possibly during the summer, too), but list their parents’ address as their “permanent address”?

Some of my WAGs:

People get married later now than they did 40 years ago. People who, back then, would have gotten married at 21 (and moved out of their parents’ house) are now waiting until they’re 25.

The decline in well-paid jobs that don’t require a college degree probably doesn’t help, either. 40 years ago (from what I’ve heard), you could get a job that paid reasonably well right out of high school. That’s not the case any more for most people. Jobs that pay really well require a college degree or even an advanced degree (master’s degree, law degree, medical degree).

Housing is more expensive relative to income than it was years ago. That makes it harder for a young single person to move out and find their own apartment or house. The increase in housing prices has been especially hard on new homebuyers in the last 10 years or so. Rents haven’t kept up with housing costs in many areas (it would probably cost me about two and a half times as much per month to buy a condo like my current apartment), but they’ve gone up.

The parents probably have more room at home for their kids, too. Family sizes have been going down in the past few decades. A smaller family means that it’s easier for the parents to keep a room set up for that child (rather than reassigning it to a sibling or using it for some other purpose), and the parents are less likely to be too busy raising younger children to let an older child move back in.

The only option for a lot of young people who are just starting their careers is to live with a roommate or roommates. And if you’re going to have to live with roommates anyway, why not live with the ones you’ve been living with for the past 20 years or so? You know what they’re like to live with- you’re not taking a chance on an unknown like you are moving in with another roommate. And they probably have a nicer place than you could afford to buy or rent on your own, even if you did go in together with roommates.

I had my own apartment the day (literally) I turned 18. I was still in high school at the time. I can understand the reasons for people to live with their parents until they are older, but in my situation? Ain’t no way. Nope. Not without bloodshed.

I’d be astounded if only 14% of 20 year olds had a permanent address that is NOT their parents’. I don’t know that many 20 year olds, but I know plenty of *25 * year olds who live with their parents, and I can’t imagine why a 20 year old would be *more * able to support themselves than the crop of recent grads with a decent first jobthat I’m personally acquainted with.

That was my first reaction too. **Only ** 14%?

Furthermore, the idea that a single anyone would set up a household by themselves in their early/mid twenties is really unusual, historically speaking: in the pre-WWII era people lived with family or in boarding houses, which are a very different thing from an apartment–more like extending dorm living.

No shit, I was going to say that 14% sounded mighty low…

On preview, I see others feel the same.

In my experience, it’s housing costs. When rent for a one bedroom apartment can cost upwards of $1500 a month, it’s unrealistic to expect a kid 2-3 years out of high school to be able to move out. Hell, I’m nearly 30 and have few expenses, and I couldn’t afford that.

Back home, I have a single 40-something year old uncle living with my grandmother, and my aunt lives with her two kids in their early twenties. Given their education and income, it’s unlikely that any of them will move out on their own anytime soon. Even getting married is no guarantee twentysomethings will move out; I’ve heard of couples getting married, and then the spouse moving in with the other’s family. It’s crazy and few people really like it, but it’s the best they can do. If you want a reasonable standard of living (or if you want your kids to have a reasonable standard of living) there is no alternative to staying at home.

Before I moved away, my parents encouraged me to stay at home as long as I wanted. They felt that it was better for me to live at home and build up savings (which I did, and am much better off for it).

My son is 20 and lives on his own (with roomates). He’s been out of my house for 2 years now.

I moved into my own apartment when I was 18. My husband moved out of his mother’s house when he was 18.

Hell, I’d moved across the country by myself and was living on my own at 19. Not all 20 year olds are financially retarded imbeciles incapable of caring for themselves.

I don’t disagreee with any of this.

I would add some subset of todays 20-somethings have certain expectations that cannot be met by working at Houlihans and living in a group house. HDTV, a certain level of Car, Cable, video games, internet, cells, bling and iPODS are things that many self respecting 20-somethings cannot reasonably imagine being without. This can delay leaving home until that sort of lifestyle can be supported.

Other things that hit todays twenty somethings is overwhelmingly high Credit Card debt, proportionally ever increaing costs of higher education (leading to huge Student Loans and/or having to live at home) and the already mentioned high cost of non-subsidized housing in non-scary areas.

Count me in the “that seems low” crowd. In my experience, it’s mostly housing costs. The days when a high-school diploma could earn enough to buy a house, or even rent a nice apartment, are gone. Until you have a college degree and a decent paycheck, you’re living with mom and dad. The only alternatives are to find a roomate (always a crapshoot) or get an apartment in the slums and take your chances there.

Staying at home until marriage is common practive in many US immigrant communities, so it’s fairly culturally insensitive to refer to this group as “unmotivated, directionless”. It’s also unfair to working-class college students whose parents can’t afford college dorms (or even college tuition). Note that at some urban-center colleges, board alone can start at over $5K/year, to say that the “motivated” choice would be to drag out college or take out loans is surely debatable.

I moved out of my mother’s home when I was 19. I had met my wife and she moved down here… we needed a place to live together and it just wasn’t going to be my mom’s house. I was married at 21, she was 20. It’ll be our ninth anniversary this August. I was pretty unusual though, in that regard… most of my peers didn’t venture out untill about 22-26… somewhere in that range of years.

But a lot are paying expensive college tuitions (which have gone up much faster than incomes over the past 10 years), or have taken out student loans that will eventually need to be repaid.

It’s easier now for a “financially retarded imbecile” to get way over their head in debt than it was 30 years ago, too. It’s much easier now than it was then to get a credit card, thanks to deregulation. It’s far easier to get into trouble with debt with a credit card than it is without one. And living without a credit card is a difficult option (it makes it much harder to rent a car, just for one example).

Another factor is that it is no longer socially unthinkable to have your girlfriend stay over when you are living under your parent’s roof: some parents might mind, but many others would find it unobjectionable in an early-20-something living at home. That removes a powerful incentive to get your own place.

Same here. I would only have moved back in with my parents after college if the alternative were to literally live on the streets.