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New Study Finds High Home Prices and Rents Mean Rising Number of Young Adults Living With Parents

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The number of young adults ages 18 to 29 that live with their parents and relatives is growing thanks to unaffordable home prices and high rents nationwide, a recent study shows.

The study — co-led by Cal State Fullerton Assistant Professor of finance Desen Lin — found that the number of young adults who are co-residents with their parents has steadily increased since the 1960s. 

It has especially soared in the 21st century from 39.9% in 2000 to 49% in 2021, which is about twice the pace of the previous four decades.

What’s different about this decade, Lin says, is that young adults who choose to live with their parents are often looking to save on housing expenses after factoring in unaffordable housing and high rents.

Meanwhile, young adults coresiding with parents in the 2000s often did so due to high unemployment rates, Lin says.

Key takeaways:

  1. This housing unaffordability impact is stronger in less affordable cities, like Los Angeles, Boston and New York City. Lin said most young adults are still choosing to live in major U.S. cities for job opportunities, even if expenses are higher.
  2. Young adults have cited housing affordability as a factor in choosing to postpone marriage or starting a family.
  3. Lin says delaying marriage and starting a family can also mean young adults would continue living with roommates or parents for longer periods than before.
  4. The popularity of multigenerational living may also increase in the coming years due to growing populations of historical minority ethnic groups.

“As long as housing remains unaffordable to rent or own, the trend of living with parents or grandparents will continue as a way to share living expenses,” Lin says.

Visit CSUF’s College of Business and Economics website for more information on Lin’s study.