Despite a fairly grounded economic recovery since the 2008 financial crisis and Great Recession, the share of millennials living with their parents has surged back to levels not seen since the 1940s.
The trend is even stronger among women. A new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data shows that 36.4 percent of women ages 18 to 34 resided with family in 2014, mainly in the home of mom, dad or both.
The result represents a “striking U-shaped” trend for young women – and young men – indicating a return to the past, statistically speaking.
Back in 1940, 36.2 percent of young women lived with their parents or relatives. That number decreased over the next couple of decades as marriage rates surged and women joined the workforce in much greater numbers, becoming financially independent enough to live on their own.
While marriage typically promotes living independently of parents and other relatives, many young women are delaying marriage compared to earlier decades, Pew found.
Although their numbers are not quite as striking, young men are also staying longer in the mom-dad nest. Last year, 42.8 percent of young men lived with their family, a higher share than women — but not one that surpasses the highest rates on record, as is the case with women’s share.
According to Pew:
Young adults were most likely to live independently of family around 1960, when just 24 percent stayed in the nest. But that figure modestly increased from 1960 to 2000 and then sharply increased after that, especially with the onset of the Great Recession in 2008. The labor market recovery since then has not reversed the trend – in fact, it’s become even more pronounced.