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Majority of Young Adults Now Living with Parents

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Young adultsby Richard Fry, Jeffrey S. Passel and D’Vera Cohn, Pew Research Center

As the chaotic events of 2020 have unfolded, large numbers of young people have moved back in with their parents, and this has pushed the percentage of Americans in the 18 to 29 year-old age bracket that live with their parents to the highest level ever recorded.  Without a doubt, the collapse of the economy has hit young adults particularly hard.  About 59 million Americans have filed for unemployment over the past 24 weeks, and low wage workers have been disproportionally affected by this tsunami of job losses.  Needless to say, young adults traditionally make up a large chunk of our low wage workers, and now that really tough times have hit a lot of them are being forced to fall back on their mothers and their fathers for support.  According to a brand new report that was just put out by the Pew Research Center, 52 percent of all young adults in this country are now living with their parents

In July, 52% of young adults resided with one or both of their parents, up from 47% in February, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of monthly Census Bureau data. The number living with parents grew to 26.6 million, an increase of 2.6 million from February. The number and share of young adults living with their parents grew across the board for all major racial and ethnic groups, men and women, and metropolitan and rural residents, as well as in all four main census regions. Growth was sharpest for the youngest adults (ages 18 to 24) and for White young adults.

The share of young adults living with their parents is higher than in any previous measurement (based on current surveys and decennial censuses). Before 2020, the highest measured value was in the 1940 census at the end of the Great Depression, when 48% of young adults lived with their parents. The peak may have been higher during the worst of the Great Depression in the 1930s, but there is no data for that period.

The share of young adults living with parents declined in the 1950 and 1960 censuses before rising again. The monthly share in the Current Population Survey has been above 50% since April of this year, reaching and maintaining this level for the first time since CPS data on young adults’ living arrangements became available in 1976.

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© 2020 Pew Research Center

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