Share of Young Adults Living With Their Parents Drops to Decade Low
Despite record high inflation rates, rising interest rates and worsening housing affordability, young adults continued to move out of parental homes in 2022. According to NAHB’s analysis of the 2022 American Community Survey (ACS) Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS), the share of young adults ages 25-34 living with their parents or parents-in-law declined and now stands at 19.1%. This percentage is a decade low and a welcome continuation of the post-pandemic trend toward rising independent living by young adults.
Traditionally, young adults ages 25 to 34 constitute around half of all first-time home buyers. Consequently, the number and share of young adults in this age group who choose to stay with their parents or parents-in-law has profound implications for household formation, housing demand and the housing market.
The share of adults ages 25 to 34 living with parents reached a peak of 22% in 2017-2018. Although a nearly three percentage point drop since then is a welcome development, the share remains elevated by historical standards, with almost one in five young adults in parental homes. Two decades ago, less than 12% of young adults, or 4.6 million, lived with their parents. The current share of 19.1% translates into 8.5 million of young adults living in the homes of their parents or parents-in-law.
Comparing NAHB’s estimates of the share of young adults in parental homes against NAHB/Wells Fargo’s Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) data reveals that, until the pandemic, the rising share of young adults living with parents had been associated with worsening affordability. Conversely, improving housing affordability had been linked with a declining share of 25- to 34-year-old adults continuing to live in parental homes. The strong negative correlation disappeared in the post-pandemic world, with young adults continuing to move out of parental homes despite worsening housing affordability and rising cost of independent living.
NAHB Assistant Vice President for Housing Policy Research Natalia Siniavskaia highlights factors that contributed to this trend in this Eye on Housing post.