You are not alone in asking why are young adults living at home? In the past few years, there has been a rise in the number of young adults moving back with both parents, one parent, parental figures, or even relatives. It doesn’t help that the world perceives this generation as having the most significant number of young adults never leaving home in the first place or moving back in their 30s.
So, why are young adults living at home? One can simply state the answer under the umbrella of convenience, but multiple factors contribute to this trend. The most noted events are the pandemic of 2020, financial instability, developing confidence and comfort, changing views, caregiving responsibilities, pro-longed education, and the housing market.
This article will dive deeper into the factors that cause emerging adults to choose to live at home and strategies to help overcome apparent issues.
Why Are Young Adults Living At Home? – Below Are The Top 9 Reasons:
The Pandemic of 2020 – Its Effects On Young Adults Living At Home
In recent times, the pandemic has had the greatest effect on young adults living at home. In 2020, there were multiple lockdowns, fear of disease, job losses, school closures, food scarcity, etc. These elements contributed to families seeking out each other and many young adults moving back home to live with parents or relatives.
This significant move resulted in the Pew Research Center’s report, stating that the number of adults living at home this year surpassed the peak seen in a great depression.
We often forget that, though ready for adventure, most young adults do not have all the tools required for survival in the real world. One such tool is a steady, well-paying job. By the time most individuals who fall into this generation are ready to move out and start their own lives, they are still just getting into college or graduating high school.
Unless these young adults have chosen a proven non-traditional way of earning an income, their jobs at best are at a fast-food place, restaurants, retail establishment, or office reception. Most of which require consistent work to come up with barely enough money to cover their expenses.
As a result, many such youths need parental help to pay most bills. It is not uncommon to see parents of young adults who have recently moved out helping with rent, car bills, insurance payments, etc.
Sadly, not all young adults have responsible or willing parents or parental figures to help them with their financial issues. And a lot, depending on the circumstances leading to their leaving home, have absolutely no help at all.
The younger generation, either after experiencing instability, or being afraid to do so, may prefer to live at home with their parents until they feel adequate to leave home.
As a mother of young adults, I see confidence at the top of the list of factors to consider when asking why young adults are living at home.
While some adults are so ready to move out of home at the age of 16, there are others who at the age of 30, are not ready to take that step. Such adults may fear independence, not because they cannot handle it financially or physically, but because they have not been prepared to do so.
In such cases, they may need a little nudge to get them out of the door.
If you are a young adult struggling with moving out, consider finding some friends in the same boat as yourself and planning with them. You could consider getting a roommate rather than jumping into an apartment alone. You can also get involved in activities that are of interest to young adults. If leaving home gives you anxiety, you can choose to get help from a healthcare consultant. Communicate your fears to your parents so they can offer both their time and other resources to support your move.
Sometimes you will run into young adults who are financially stable and confident young adults with seemingly no reason to want to remain living at home. Such individuals present a challenge to those asking why young adults live at home. As they seem not to fall into any problematic mold. But guess what, they do, as they are too comfortable to want to move out on their own.
Such individuals are a good case for the idiom, “if it ain’t broke, why fix it?”
Imagine that you wake up to a hot breakfast or maybe even just a cup of hot coffee every day. All your appliances and utilities work perfectly, and even though you may make a contribution, you are not bothered with the details of bill paying, repairs, shopping, and so on. Food and drinks are always in the fridge, and you never have to worry about a roof over your head next month. This is probably your childhood, so why change things as an emerging adult?
While comfort may be highly convenient for most individuals in the younger generation, it is not always the best option as it can become a form of malady, keeping young adults from reaching their full potential.
Parents with young adults that are too comfortable to leave home should set expectations straight and create deadlines to help the young adult move out. They can show support by helping their adults create a comfortable and full-functioning home outside of the parent’s home and even offer to help them troubleshoot issues initially.
Once the child has moved out, the parent should step back and have that young adult assume the necessary responsibilities to help them create their own comfort.
There used to be a time when labels ruled the world. Young adults existing at such a time (just a generation away) did not want to be labeled as living in their parent’s homes after a certain age. Today, we have a “thinking” younger generation, who do things that make sense to them, rather than make decisions based on people’s opinions. Such as living at home if it is more affordable and less stressful, and parents are willing and able to make it happen.
Young adults living at home is not the worst thing that happened, especially if the parents allow them to do so because they are going through temporary or even permanent challenges.
Some parents and their young adults have arrangements where both may share a home for multiple reasons, and it works out for both of them. I personally don’t see any problem with this if it is what is planned by the involved parties.
The world is not perfect, and there are situations where young adults are living at home because the youth is either receiving care from their parents or they could be helping out with caregiving responsibilities. This is common in homes where the young adult may be disabled, and the parents make arrangements to take care of them into adulthood or where a parent has their young adult as a primary caregiver.
It used to be that you got a certification and that was good enough to get you into a technical job. Then a bachelor’s degree became a requirement, and then for many professions, a graduate degree is required or makes you competitive for jobs.
As more jobs look to weed out employees that they have to train, preferring fully trained professionals that can hit the ground running, the demand for further training is becoming the norm.
Young adults find that when they choose to go to college, a four-year bachelor’s degree is insufficient, in many cases, to get them where they are headed, careerwise. As a result, they are staying in school longer.
When parents are housing their young adults who are in college, they should expect to house them for much longer than those who have emerging adults who have already started full-time jobs in their career areas.
The Housing Market
In asking, why young adults are living at home, you cannot underestimate the effects of today’s housing market on the decision of these set of individuals who try to avoid independent housing altogether.
Following the 2020 pandemic, for instance, there was a lot of activity in relocating individuals. Major US cities like Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio in Texas, saw an influx of migrants from other cities such as California. These individuals out-bid the locals on every level in housing, driving the prices of new homes up by the hundreds of thousands. The direct effect was an increased cost of homes for rent. Some young individuals described these home prices as “extremely ridiculous,” and many moved back to live with parents, parent figures, or relatives.
I hope this post helps answer your question about why young adults live at home. While young adults living at home may be problematic in some cases, it works for others. The younger generation choosing to increase time spent at home before moving out may have its benefits, but if it is a burden to the parties involved, then they should take the necessary steps to guide them out of the home.