Moving out of your parents’ home has long been considered the ultimate rite of passage into full-fledged adulthood.
But today’s young adults are more likely to live in a parent’s household — and to live with their parents for a longer period, according to the Pew Research Center. A range of potential explanations has been offered for this generation’s “failure to launch,” from a desire to prolong adolescence to an aversion to marriage and commitment.
While these factors might play some role, the reality for most adults ages 25 to 40 living with their parents is that they lack the money to move out and establish their own households. Some might be unemployed and looking for work, while some have left the labor force altogether. Other young adults have their own children and live with parents out of a need for child care and support.
MagnifyMoney wanted to find out where U.S. adults are most likely to still be living with their parents, and what factors could be holding them back from leaving the nest.
We surveyed the 50 largest metros in America to identify the largest portion of adults ages 25 to 40 living with their parents along with some other statistics about them. We excluded people in this age group who identified themselves as active students.
- In Riverside, Calif., 28% of adults ages 25 to 40 live with their parents, earning this city the No. 1 spot on our list. High unemployment among these young adults – and for the metro, more generally – appears to be a leading factor.
- Young adults in Miami, Los Angeles and New York follow, with more than 1 in 4 residents ages 25 to 40 living in their parents’ home.
- Minneapolis stands at the other end of the spectrum, with fewer than 12% of young adults in this age range living with their parents.
- Seattle is another city with just under 12% of young adults (ages 25 to 40) living under their parents’ roofs. Then there’s a four-way tie for third place among cities where adults are least likely to live with parents: Denver, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Mo. and Raleigh, N.C. all have 12.3% of these adults living at home.
- Across the board, about 1 in 4 adults living with their parents have children of their own in the home.
- Men between the ages of 25 and 40 are more likely to live with their parents in every metro we reviewed (except Austin, Texas).
- The average unemployment rate for this age group across the 50 metros is 8.6%. That’s more than twice the national unemployment rate of 4% as of January 2019.
- Nearly 1 in 5 adults who live at home don’t participate in the labor market at all, on average across the 50 metros.
- Adding together the unemployed and the people who don’t participate in the labor force, only 72% of these adults are currently working while living with parents.
Understanding the metrics
The list is ranked strictly on the percentage of adults aged 25 to 40 who live with their parents. To inform our findings, we also present the following information for this same population (which did not affect rankings). We excluded anyone from the analysis who was identified as a student.
- Percentage who have their own children at home.
- Percentage who are unemployed. This refers to people who want to work but are unable to find work. They are part of the active labor force in their communities.
- Percentage who don’t participate in the labor force. These are people who don’t work outside of the home and are not seeking to work. This is different from the unemployment rate, and people counted in that rate are not included in this metric. We excluded people who are identified as students from our analysis as well, so these statistics don’t include people not looking for work due to educational pursuits.
- Breakdown of people who live with their parents by sex.
In the 10 cities with the largest shares of young adults ages 25 to 40 living in their parents’ homes, eight were split between two regions: the South and the Northeast. In the South, more adults live with parents in Miami, San Antonio, New Orleans and Orlando, Fla. The four top cities in the Northeast include New York, Philadelphia, Providence, R.I. and Baltimore.
Here are some other highlights of these 10 cities with the highest portions of adults (ages 25 to 40) living with parents:
- San Antonio, Orlando and Riverside had the highest rates of parenthood among young adults living with parents, out of the top 10 cities overall. In these cities, nearly three in 10 young adults who live at home with parents also live with a child of their own.
- Of the top 10 cities where more adults are living with parents, the highest unemployment rates among this cohort are found in New Orleans (11.2%), Riverside (10.8%) and Baltimore (10.6%). In these cities, more than 1 in 10 of these adults living under their parents’ roofs are unemployed and actively seeking work.
- The cities among the top 10 with the highest rates of nonparticipation in the labor force among adults living with their parents are San Antonio (25.3%), New Orleans (24.1%) and Orlando (19.5%).
- Across the board, men make up the bigger share of adults who live with their parents, but the difference was more pronounced in some of the top 10 cities. In both Providence and Philadelphia, men make up a larger majority (56.7%) of adults living with parents. New York follows close behind, with a 56.2% male majority of adults living with their parents.
Then there are the cities where fewer adults (ages 25 to 40) are living with their parents, and are more likely to be living on their own. Four of these cities are located in the Midwest: Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Mo. and Columbus, Ohio. The South and West are also well represented in this list. In each region, there are three cities where these adults are less likely to be living in their parents’ homes.
Here is a closer look at other metrics that can inform these top 10 cities and their low rates of adults living with parents:
- In these 10 cities, adults living with parents were more likely to be parents themselves, compared with the 10 cities where more adults live with parents. In Austin and Denver, 30% of adults living with parents had at least one child of their own living with them.
- Raleigh and Indianapolis had the highest unemployment rates among these adults of the top 10 cities, at right around 12%. Austin and Kansas City had the lowest rates of unemployment among adults living with parents, at 5.4% and 5.6% respectively.
- Among these 10 cities, Austin did have the highest share of adults living at home who aren’t participating in the labor force, however, at 22.5%. Portland and Indianapolis also had higher rates of labor nonparticipation among these adults living in parents’ homes, at just over 20%.
- Minneapolis and Portland have the most uneven breakdown by sex of adults living with parents. Austin, on the other hand, is the only city we surveyed where a majority of adults living with parents are women, at 51.1%.
Our rankings surveyed the 50 most populous metro areas in the U.S. to find the proportion of adults (ages 25 to 40) living with their parents for each. See the table below for the full rankings for all 50 cities, along with key statistics on local adults who live with their parents.
How to prepare your money to move out on your own
Most adults living with parents hope to eventually move out on their own. If that’s you, careful planning can help you prep your finances, pay down debt and save enough money to make this happen sooner.
Here are some specific steps to take while you’re living with your parents to get financially healthy and launch your solo stage of life.
Make a plan to deal with debt
If you’re hoping to move out, you’ll have to deal with your debt first. The monthly payments on debt can be a burden that makes it harder to afford to live on your own.
Living at home is the perfect time to make extra payments toward debt and pay off some balances. Target your high-interest debt first, such as credit cards — these balances will cost you the most to carry from month to month.
Paying down debt is a great start, but your payoff date might still be years away while you’re hoping to move out much sooner. In these cases, you could refinance or consolidate debt to adjust your monthly payments or even secure a lower interest rate. Here are some options worth looking into:
Seek out a better job or side hustle
Unemployment, underemployment or exiting the labor force are among the biggest reasons adults live with their parents — and can’t move out. The only way to find your next gig is to apply, so keep your hopes and efforts up.
Applying for jobs can be tough, however, especially if you’re met with rejections. If your efforts seem to be going nowhere, see what you can do to make yourself a more attractive job candidate. Read up on job-seeking advice and ask for feedback from mentors or potential employers to improve your resume and prep for your next opportunity.
On top of actively seeking new or better employment, you can also consider picking up a side hustle or part-time job. This can help you develop new skills, build a portfolio and avoid a gap in employment — all while earning additional income and keeping money coming in.
Take advantage of low-cost living with parents
Living with parents isn’t always easy, but it comes with one major perk: low costs. Most adults who live with parents do so to benefit from either sharing living costs or skipping typical bills such as rent, groceries or utilities.
This lack of costs leaves more of your money available to tackle other financial goals. You can start building your move-out fund, saving for expenses like a deposit on an apartment and purchasing furnishings for your own place. Having an emergency fund in place before moving out can also be a wise move. Or you can use savings from living at home to pay down student loans or other debt.
Whatever your goal, set your sights and start using your freed-up funds to work toward it.
Analysts used 2017 American Community Census microdata hosted on IPUMS to calculate the following percentages for people aged 25 to 40 and who did not identify as students: 1) Percentage who live in the same household with at least one of their parents. For those who both do and do not live with their parents, we separately calculated: 1) Percentage who live with their own children, 2) percentage who are unemployed, 3) percentage who are not part of the labor force, 4) percentage who are men, 5) percentage who are women.
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