Thursday, August 18, 2016

Empty nests getting scarcer: Young adults likelier to live with a parent; here's a state-by-state map

For the first time in modern history, "the most common living arrangement for young adults" — 18 to 34 — is living with at least one parent, according to a study published earlier this year by the Pew Research Center, reports Tim Henderson of Pew's Stateline.

Almost a third of young adults lived with a parent in 2014, Henderson reports, citing reasons: high housing costs, student debt, cultural norms among families and ethnic groups, and the lingering effects of the Great Recession. Debbie Pincus, a psychotherapist who has counseled parents and adult children who live together in New York, told Henderson that baby boomers "are very protective of [their] children" and are less likely to put them out.

Screenshot of Stateline's interactive map, available with story
Among the states, New Jersey tops the list with 43.9 percent of young adults living with at least one parent, according to a Stateline analysis of 2014 census data from the University of Minnesota. Connecticut (38.8 percent) ranked second and New York (37.4 percent) was third.

States with the fewest young adults living with a parent were North Dakota (15.6 percent), Wyoming (18.7 percent), South Dakota (19.7 percent) and Nebraska and Iowa (both 20.7 percent).

Several states with high percentages of rural population, such as Kentucky and the Dakotas, had low percentages of millennials living with parents, but some other heavily rural states, such as Mississippi and some New England states, ranked high on Stateline's millennials-with-parents interactive map.

Dowell Myers, a University of Southern California professor who has studied the economic impact of stay-at-home millennials, "predicts that a coming dip in the number of young adults may allow a greater percentage of them to finally find their own housing," Henderson reports. "The number of 25-year-olds has increased every year since 2005, but is projected to start decreasing next year and for the next five years. That’s likely to free up apartments and jobs for younger people at an increasing rate until 2022."

Robert Dietz, an economist for the National Association of Home Builders, told Henderson, “Housing is like a ladder — when there are blockages, it backs up the whole thing, and the millennials are having a hard time getting onto the bottom rung.”

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