Moneybox

Every Day Is Mother’s Day for the Record Number of Millennials Who Live With Mom

Happy son embraces his mother in the kitchen.
Chocolate chip pancakes? In this economy?
DGL Images/Thinkstock

Millennials will find less of an excuse not to make breakfast for mom this Mother’s Day, because a record number of them are living with her.

According to the real-estate-listing company Zillow, nearly 1 in 4 millennials between the ages of 24 and 36 lives at home, nearly double the 13.5 percent rate for that age group in 2005. It’s the highest level in a decade, and these young adults aren’t exactly slouching: Nearly 9 in 10 of them have jobs.

It’s another sign of how student debt, high housing costs, and a post-recession job market have screwed over a whole cohort of Americans, pushing back household formation. Relatedly: In 2017, for the first time ever, women in their 30s were having more children than women in their 20s. And the share of young college graduates living with a partner has fallen nearly 10 percentage points from 2005.

Geographically, multigenerational households have formed exactly where you would expect: In the country’s most expensive rental markets. More than 30 percent of millennials live with their parents in New York, Los Angeles and the Inland Empire, and Miami.

That doesn’t mean that millennials never pay high rents to live alone. Lowest on the living-with-mom list? Austin, Seattle, and Denver, three fast-growing cities that aren’t especially cheap, but are attractive enough places that young people leave the nest for them, despite the price. They’re joined by fast-growing, low-cost Sun Belt metros like Oklahoma City and Nashville, as well as low-cost Midwestern cities like Indianapolis, Columbus, and Minneapolis–St. Paul.

And it turns out that getting a college degree makes you more—not less—likely to live at home, reflecting the crippling role that student debt plays in determining millennial living choices.