Young Americans are now living with their parents at historic rates as the coronavirus pandemic forced many back into their childhood homes, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center.
A majority of of 18- to 29-year-olds are now back home, surpassing a previous peak during the Great Depression era, Pew found.
Some 52% of young adults resided with one or both of their parents as of July, up from 47% in February, according to Pew’s analysis of Census Bureau data. The number living with parents grew to 26.6 million, an increase of 2.6 million from February.
The number and share of young adults living with their parents increased for all major racial and ethnic groups, men and women, and metropolitan and rural residents, as well as in all four main census regions, the report said.
“The share of young adults living with their parents is higher than in any previous measurement,” the report said.
“Before 2020, the highest measured value was in the 1940 census at the end of the Great Depression, when 48% of young adults lived with their parents. The peak may have been higher during the worst of the Great Depression in the 1930s, but there is no data for that period.”
Pew said the coronavirus pandemic has hit young adults especially hard: one-in-ten relocated temporarily or permanently and about the same share had someone else move into their residence.
“Among all adults who moved due to the pandemic, 23% said the most important reason was because their college campus had closed, and 18% said it was due to job loss or other financial reasons,” Pew said.
The figures tell only one half of the story, of course: recent high school and college graduates are facing unprecedented challenges in finding work as entry level jobs in many industries have all but vanished.