Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.
Updated on Tuesday, September 1, 2020
From experiencing an economic downturn or needing support while starting a business to living in an area with high rent costs or saving for big financial goals, there are numerous reasons why adults might live with their parents. In fact, it’s not that uncommon, depending on where you live.
To figure out where adults ages 25 to 40 are more likely to live with their parents, MagnifyMoney took a second look at the topic, again excluding those who identified as students.
Riverside, Calif., took our top spot again. Here’s what we found.
- Riverside, Calif., for the second year in a row, tops the list of places where adults live with their parents. In fact, 29.4% of non-students ages 25 to 40 live with their parents in Riverside, up from 28.1% the year before.
- Miami (29%) and Los Angeles (27.2%) retain their spots in second and third.
- New York falls from fourth to a tie for fifth. Only about 2 in 5 of the 50 largest U.S. metros saw year-over-year drops in the percentage of adults living with their parents. In 31 of the 50 metros we reviewed, the percentage grew year over year.
- Minneapolis and Raleigh, N.C., tie for the places with the lowest rate of adults living with their parents (12.1%), despite Minneapolis seeing a year-over-year rise of 0.5 percentage points.
- More men than women live with their parents in those 50 largest metros. The places with the biggest gaps were Louisville, Ky. (64% men versus 36% women), Pittsburgh (63.6% versus 36.4%), Milwaukee (62.9% versus 37.1%) and New Orleans (62.8% versus 37.2%).
- On average, 1 in 4 adults who live with their parents don’t work, either because they’re unemployed or they don’t participate in the workforce. Overall, Memphis and New Orleans have the fewest adults not working at 34%, while less than 17% aren’t working in San Jose, Calif. — the heart of the Silicon Valley.
- Those who work while living with their parents earn far less than their peers on their own. The earnings deficit ranges from 61.3% in Seattle to 15.1% in San Francisco.
- The percentage of earnings that renters would have to spend for a median one-bedroom home in the 50 metros varied greatly, from 16.9% in Richmond, Va., to 48.4% in San Diego.
- Where more adults live with their parents
- Where fewer adults live with their parents
- Employed adults who live with parents earn far less than those who don’t
- Living with parents amid 2020 coronavirus pandemic
Where more adults live with their parents
Five of the 10 metros with the highest percentage of adults ages 25 to 40 who live with their parents are in the South, followed by three in the Northeast and two in the West.
Taking a closer look at these 10 metros, there are interesting details and commonalities within the 2018 data:
- Adult men were more likely to live with their parents than adult women in each of the 10 metros, particularly in New Orleans and San Antonio.
- Memphis had the highest percentage of unemployed adults living with their parents at 15.4%. But all 10 metros — looking at just this segment of the population — had a higher rate than the overall national rate at any point in 2018, which never went above 4.1%. The closest to the average was Providence, R.I. (4.9%).
- Among these 10, New Orleans had the highest percentage of adults living with their parents who weren’t participating in the workforce. In fact, 1 in 4 fit that description. New Orleans was followed closely by Providence.
- In eight of the 10 metros listed here, at least 20% of adults living with their parents also had their own children there. San Antonio (27.9%) and Riverside (27.1%) had the highest proportions among this group.
Where fewer adults live with their parents
Among the 10 locations with the lowest percentages of adults 25 to 40 who live with their parents, the Midwest had the largest representation with four metros. The West was next with three metros, followed by the South with two and the Northeast with one.
Here are some other highlights for these 10 metros:
- Looking at genders among the metros with the lowest percentages of adults who live with their parents, the gaps are much wider than the metros with the highest percentages. For example, in Pittsburgh, there is a more than 27 percentage point difference in the proportion of men (63.6%) versus women (36.4%).
- Raleigh, N.C., had the lowest percentage of unemployed adults living with their parents (2.9%), while Columbus, Ohio, had the highest at 11.9%.
- Four of the 10 metros on this list had at least 20% of this segment of the population who were out of the workforce. Portland, Ore., had the highest proportion, with 22.6% of these adults fitting that description. Kansas City, Mo., followed close behind, with 22.3%.
- In nine of these 10 metros — when looked at independently — 20% to 30% of adults who were living with their parents also had children of their own there. Pittsburgh, however, bucked the trend, with only 14%.
Employed adults who live with parents earn far less than those who don’t
The metro with the most drastic difference in earnings was Seattle, where those who don’t live with their parents earn about $64,000 more a year on average than those who do. Among the 50 metros, Seattle had the highest average annual earnings for adults ages 25 to 40 who don’t live with their parents by more than $13,000, which could help contribute to its status as the metro with the largest wage gap.
At the other end of the spectrum, San Francisco residents had the smallest gap between these two segments — less than $10,000 a year.
What it’ll cost for these adults to move out of their parents’ homes
Employed adults in San Diego could face the steepest challenges when looking to move out of their parents’ home into a one-bedroom, as rent — on average — would cost 48.4% of their earnings. In 36 of the 50 largest metros, renters on average would need to put more than 30% of their income toward rent alone.
Living with parents amid 2020 coronavirus pandemic
Our study used 2018 data — the latest available on the topic — to determine where adults were living with their parents. But fast forward to 2020: With the coronavirus crisis throwing a wrench in many people’s plans, it’s possible we’ll see an uptick in the moving-in-with-the-folks trend.
“The coronavirus pandemic has triggered high levels of unemployment, and young adults are just one of the many groups of people that have been impacted,” said Sarah Berger, MagnifyMoney’s millennial finance columnist. “For those who have lost their source of income during this time, moving back in with their parents can be an easy way to save money on housing costs.”
The work-from-home movement could be another factor for moving in with parents, Berger noted, as cramped apartments have less appeal than the comfort and savings that may be gained by making the move. This is especially true for those who owe student loans.
How to save money to move out of parents’ home
Continue paying ‘rent’
This doesn’t mean paying rent to your parents, though that’s certainly a good thing to do if you can swing it. Instead, Berger recommends funneling “rent” money into a separate savings account while living at home. That way, you can accumulate cash that can be used for your future living expenses, giving you a financial cushion in the meantime.
“You are already used to cutting a rent check every month, and this is a smart way to build your savings without having to think twice about it,” she said.
Cut unnecessary expenses
Minimizing your expenses is always a good idea when you have a large savings goal in mind. And during a pandemic, when so much seems to be in question when it comes to the future, focusing on spending less — wherever possible — is a good idea.
“Working hard where you’re at and with what you have — meaning consistently saving money and cutting back on unnecessary expenses — can still put you on the right path,” Berger said.
Consider selling some of your furniture
Selling some of the furniture you accumulated in your apartment or house before living with your parents might be a good option, particularly if you don’t have the space to store it or can’t swing a monthly storage fee.
Of course, this will depend on how comfortable you are with selling your stuff. It’s important to consider personal health and safety amid the coronavirus pandemic when, for instance, selling things online.
Look for a better-paying job
It can be tough to find new employment during an economic downturn when many companies are hurting for cash, but Berger said it’s still worth pursuing. Similarly, a side hustle that uses your existing skill sets can be a good option, especially if you’re unemployed at this time.
Either way, remember to “be kind to yourself during this time,” Berger said. “It’s a tough job market out there, so give yourself grace.”
Analysts used 2018 American Community Survey microdata hosted on IPUMS to calculate the following percentages for people ages 25 to 40 in the 50 largest U.S. metros who didn’t identify as students:
- Those who live in the same household with at least one of their parents
- Those who have their own children also living in that same household
- Those who’re unemployed and those who aren’t part of the labor force
- Those who are men and those who are women
We also calculated:
- Average annual earnings for employed adults who live with parents versus average annual earnings for employed adults who don’t live with their parents
- The percentage of earnings that the average employed adult who lives at home would need to spend to pay median rent for a one-bedroom home