Census Bureau: 30.3% Millennials Still Living With Their Parents

Ali Meyer | February 17, 2015 | 12:16pm EST
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(CNSNews.com) - 30.3 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds are living with a parent, according to data from the Census Bureau.

The data comes from a Census release called “Young Adults: Then and Now,” which “illustrates characteristics of the young adult population (age 18-34) across the decades using data from the 1980, 1990 and 2000 Censuses and the 2009-2013 American Community Survey.”

In 1980, according to the Census, 22.9 percent of the total population ages 18 to 34 were living with a parent who was deemed the householder. In 1990, the percentage living with their parents increased to 24.2 percent. In 2000, the percentage dipped to 23.2 percent, and in 2009-2013 it reached the highest level recorded in the dataset to 30.3 percent.

CNSNews.com contacted Veronique de Rugy, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center, to put the data in context to find out why this is occurring.

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“Millennials are taking a big hit in this economy,” said de Rugy. “Recessions are always rough on younger people, but this one has been particularly rough. The recovery has been so slow, and it’s also been kind of slow on the labor market side of things.

“For instance, the recession hit when some millennials were just getting out of college and so they went straight into the unemployment line. And then when they were lucky enough to get a job, usually there was a lot of underemployment going on, meaning not necessarily full-time and part-time jobs but also at lower salary than they would otherwise,” she said.

“The other thing that’s been really rough for them is the fact that during the recession and the slow recovery, the number of older workers that actually quit their jobs to get a better position, was down quite significantly, and unfortunately, I mean this is a bad thing, because this is one of the ways that first you measure the health of the labor market, but also this is one of the ways that younger workers go up the job ladder,” de Rugy added.

“And when you actually have few options because people are worried and won’t quit their jobs for better opportunities either because they’re risk averse or because those opportunities do not exist, it means that you are stuck at lower positions without being given the opportunity to go out. So it’s a problem,” she said.

“The other major problem that we’re gonna see in the next - you know playing out for the next 40 years is the fact that the biggest increase in your expected income, future income, comes the first 10 years of your career,” said de Rugy. “So if you start slow, it means you’re basically losing out a lot in the long run. So it’s been rough.”

The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold.

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