Younger adults in the U.S. are increasingly saying goodbye to their landlords and hello again to mom and dad.
According to a new survey from Harris Poll for Bloomberg, roughly 45% of people ages 18 to 29 are living at home with their families — the highest figure since the 1940s. More than 60% of Gen-Zers and millennials reported moving back home in the past two years, according to the poll, often because of financial challenges.
Moving back with their parents is a choice many are making these days as they grapple with high housing costs, heavy student debt, inflation and the kind of broader economic precariousness that has increasingly weighed on younger people in recent years.
The top reason for returning home, at more than 40%, is to save money, Harris found. In addition, 30% of respondents said they are staying with family members because they can’t afford to live on their own. Other factors included paying down debt (19%), recovering financially from emergency costs (16%) and losing a job (10%), according to the survey.
The poll, conducted online in August, includes responses from more than 4,000 U.S. adults, including 329 people ages 18 to 29.
To be sure, young people aren’t the only ones struggling with a range of financial challenges. According to Harris, 81% of respondents of any age agree that reaching financial security is more difficult today than it was 20 years ago. But 74% of those surveyed agree that younger Americans face a “broken economic situation that prevents them from being financially successful,” the survey found.
As many Gen-Zers and millennials move back in with their parents, attitudes toward living with family members are also shifting. According to the survey, 40% of young people reported feeling happy to be living at home, while 33% said they felt smart for making the choice to live with family.
In addition, a large majority of respondents reported they were sympathetic toward those who choose to live with their families, with 87% saying they think people shouldn’t be judged for living at home.
Baby boomers recently surpassed millennials as the largest. Boomers, ages 58 – 76, made up 39% of home buyers in 2022, compared with 28% for millennials, according to March data from the National Association of Realtors. That’s an increase from 29% last year and the highest percentage of any generation.
Rent has also steadily climbed, rising more than 18% since 2020. As of August, the median rent across the U.S. hovered around a record-high of $2,052 per month, according to Rent.com.