In an echo of post-war America, nearly half of the young adults in the U.S. are bidding farewell to independent living and returning to the familial nest. This surprising trend, revealed in a recent Harris Poll for Bloomberg, shows that approximately 45% of individuals aged between 18 and 29 are currently residing with their parents, the highest figure since the 1940s. The survey further indicates that over the past two years, a staggering 60% of Generation Z and millennials have made the decision to move back home, often prompted by financial difficulties.
This mass migration back to the family home is largely driven by a combination of escalating housing costs, burdensome student loans, inflation, and a general sense of economic instability that has become a distressing reality for many young people in recent years. According to the Harris Poll, the primary motivation for this shift, cited by over 40% of respondents, is the opportunity to save money. Furthermore, 30% admitted that they simply cannot afford to live independently, while others are grappling with debt repayment (19%), recovery from unexpected expenses (16%), or job loss (10%).
Young Adults in the U.S. Increasingly Moving Back Home
A recent survey by Harris Poll for Bloomberg reveals a growing trend among young adults in the U.S. who are saying goodbye to their landlords and moving back in with their parents. The study found that about 45% of individuals between 18 to 29 years old are now living with their families, marking the highest percentage since the 1940s.
Rising Financial Challenges Drive the Shift
According to the Harris poll, more than 60% of millennials and Gen-Zers reported moving back home in the past two years, often due to financial difficulties. These include high housing costs, hefty student debts, inflation, and the overall economic uncertainty that has been particularly affecting the younger population in recent years.
The main reason for this shift, accounting for over 40% of cases, is to save money. The study also found that 30% of respondents are staying with their families due to unaffordable living costs. Other reasons include paying off debts (19%), recovering from unexpected expenses (16%), and job loss (10%).
Change in Attitudes Towards Living with Family
The survey also highlights a shift in attitudes towards living with parents. About 40% of young individuals reported feeling content with their living arrangement, while 33% felt smart for deciding to live with their families. The majority (87%) expressed understanding towards those choosing to live with their families, believing that people should not be judged for such decisions.
Baby Boomers Lead in Homeownership
While younger adults struggle with housing costs, baby boomers are increasingly becoming the largest share of U.S. homebuyers. According to recent data from the National Association of Realtors, boomers, aged 58 to 76, made up 39% of home buyers in 2022, surpassing millennials who accounted for 28%. This percentage has grown from 29% last year, making it the highest of any generation.
Meanwhile, rent has surged by over 18% since 2020. As of August, the median rent across the U.S. was a record-high of approximately $2,052 per month, as per Rent.com.
The survey underscores the financial struggles that younger adults are facing in today’s economy, which are driving them to reconsider their living arrangements. The trend also reflects broader societal changes, including shifting attitudes towards living with parents and the growing dominance of baby boomers in the housing market. It is crucial for policymakers to address these challenges and explore solutions to make housing more accessible and affordable for younger generations.