We know the stereotype of the unmotivated millennial, living at home with their parents without any long-term plan or concern about their situation. Is that a fair representation? Do millennials disproportionately live with their parents? If so, is this from necessity, lack of motivation, or part of a grander strategy?
It's logical that younger generations are more likely to live with their parents in a non-caretaker capacity, even in the best of times. Millennials suffered the added indignity of coming of age during one of the worst recessions in history while dealing with prohibitive student loan debt.
Previous information from the Pew Research Center found that in 2016 – after years of economic recovery – 15% of millennials surveyed still lived with their parents. That's well above previous generations at that same point in their lives (10% for generation X, 11% of late baby boomers, and 8% of previous generations).
A recent survey by Simply Self Storage, a nationwide provider of storage space, verifies that millennials still make up the majority of those living at home with their parents. Approximately 1 in 7 millennial survey respondents are still living under the same roof as their parents – not far off from the 2016 Pew Research Center findings. While only 9% of survey respondents live with their parents, a whopping 65.8% of that 9% were in the 18-34 age group.
The U.S. Census Bureau found that 31% of 18-34-year-olds lived with their parents in 2016, compared to just 26% in 1975. Examining the state-by-state data reveals some of the underlying reasons.
The Northeast leads the way in percentages of millennials living at home, led by New Jersey (46.9%), Connecticut (41.6%), and New York (40.6%). All three states have high costs of living, including rent and/or house payments. In such areas, it simply makes sense for millennials to stay at home if that's an option.
Other areas with high costs of living, property values, and/or taxes have similarly high percentages of millennials living at home. Florida (38.3%), California (38.1%), and Illinois (36.5%) are primary examples. However, the Deep South shows a uniformly high rate of living at home – perhaps from a mixture of economic necessity and a culture more tolerant of generations living under the same roof.
In any case, millennials are rethinking what it means to reach full adulthood and the milestones required to get there. 2012 U.S. Census Bureau data shows that most millennials considered financial independence from parents and no longer living in their parent's home as only "somewhat important" milestones to becoming an adult.
Completing formal schooling and achieving full-time employment were the top two milestones in the eyes of millennials, with 62% and 52% respectively calling those milestones "extremely important." Half of millennials cited the ability to financially support a family as an extremely important milestone. It's hard to argue with those choices.
If you still live with your parents – so what? You're well within your rights to do so regardless of your age, and you shouldn't care what anyone thinks about it. However, we do suggest that you have a plan that allows you to meet your long-term life goals, and stick to that plan.
Use your savings from living at home toward that goal – buying a home, paying off student loan debt, or socking away retirement money while you can make the most of compounding. Later in life, you can repay Mom and Dad for their kindness, and extend the same courtesy to your own children if they need it.
Living at home also can help you build a solid credit history. You can check your credit score and read your credit report for free within minutes using Credit Manager by MoneyTips.