Last year, 36 percent of Americans ages 18 to 31 lived in their parents’ home—the largest percentage in 40 years and a surge from 32 percent in 2007, according to a new analysis of U.S. Census data by the Pew Research Center released Thursday.
So why are 21.6 million Millennials still under their parents’ roof? More are going to college and living at home, plus it’s harder to get a job and young people are marrying later.
In March 2012, 39 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds were enrolled in college, up from 35 percent five years earlier. And nearly one-third to one-half of Millennials living at home were college students, the Pew report found.
As the cost of higher education rises, families are looking for ways to save money, such as living off-campus.
A national survey by Sallie Mae released last month found living at home was the top cost-saving strategy for college students and something embraced by 51 percent of respondents. Other measures included adding a roommate and reducing spending.
About 56 percent of younger Millennials (ages 18 to 24) are living at home, while just 16 percent of those ages 25 to 31 are doing so.
Living at home is a more popular option for young men, as 40 percent are still in their parents’ home, compared to 32 percent of young women.
The bleak employment picture is also contributing to the trend. While 70 percent of Americans ages 18 to 31 were employed in 2007, just 63 percent had jobs in 2012, Pew reports.
Last year, Pew notes, 25 percent of Millennials were married and in 2007 nearly 30 percent had tied the knot.
A version of this news article first appeared in the College Bound blog.