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Majority of Young Adults Are Now Living with Their Parents

Pew Research Center: Due to COVID-19, 52% of 18-to-29-year-olds – about 26.2M – now live with their parents, surpassing the previous peak during the Great Depression.

WASHINGTON – Empty nest no more? The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted millions of young adults to move back in with their parents since the spring. The majority of 18-to-29-year-olds now live with their parents, surpassing the previous peak during the Great Depression, the Pew Research Center reports.

In July, 52% of 18-to-29-year-olds lived with one or both of their parents, up from 47% in February, according to the analysis. That places the number of young adults living with their parents at 26.6 million.

The number of young adults moving back home is evident across genders, racial and ethnic groups, and both metro and rural areas, researchers found. However, increases were most pronounced among the youngest adults (18 to 24 years old) and for young white adults.

Prior to 2020, the highest number of young adults living at home was recorded in 1940, at the end of the Great Depression, when 48% of young adults lived with their parents. There is no data prior to that reflecting the worst of the Great Depression in the 1930s.

“Young adults have been particularly hard-hit by this year’s pandemic and economic downturn and have been more likely to move than other age groups,” the Pew Research Center notes, citing other surveys. Nine percent of young adults say they relocated temporarily or permanently due to the coronavirus outbreak. About 23% said they moved back home due to college campuses being closed, and 18% said they moved back due to job loss or other financial reasons.

The number of young adults moving back home was a trend even prior to the pandemic, which has been having an influence on the housing market. Because of it, the growth in new households has trailed population growth.

Between February and July, the number of households headed by an individual between 18 and 29 years old fell by 1.9 million or 12% – dropping from 15.8 million to 13.9 million.

A separate survey conducted by MagnifyMoney over this summer found that the metros where young adults are most likely to live with their parents are Riverside, Calif.; Miami; Los Angeles; San Antonio, Texas; New York; and Memphis, Tenn.

Source: “A Majority of Young Adults in the U.S. Live with Their Parents for the First Time Since the Great Depression,” Pew Research Center (Sept. 4, 2020)