While staying at home may often be seen as immature or overly sentimental, many make the choice out of financial necessity. In the states 18- to 34-year-olds are less likely to live with their parents, goods and services tend to be relatively inexpensive. Of the 10 states with the smallest shares of adults living with their parents, eight have a lower cost of living than the U.S. as whole. For example, in Oklahoma, where a far smaller than average 25.7% share of 18- to 34-year-olds live at home, goods and services are 11% cheaper than they are on average nationwide.
Meanwhile, seven of the 10 states with the largest shares of 18- to 34-year-olds living at home have a higher cost of living than the U.S. as a whole.
The ability to move out of home is generally predicated on financial independence, and for most Americans financial independence requires full-time employment. The availability of jobs appears closely tied to the likelihood of moving away from home. In six of the 10 states with the smallest shares of adults living at home, the unemployment rate is at or below 3.0%. Meanwhile, none of the states on the other end of this list have an unemployment rate below 3.3%.
The increasing proclivity of young adults to remain at home may be tied to another growing phenomenon — the student debt crisis. Americans owe a staggering $1.4 trillion in outstanding student loans — more than any other form of household debt except home mortgages.
Living at home is one way to pay down student loans faster. Seven of the 10 states with the largest shares of young adults living at home have a larger share of college-educated adults than the U.S. as a whole, compared to just four of the states on the other end of this list.
Leaving home is not the only life milestone Americans are increasingly choosing to put off. For example, the median marriage age in 2006 was 27.5 for men and 25.9 for women. As of 2016, the median marriage age stood at 29.9 for men and 27.9 for women.
Americans are also waiting longer to buy homes. Some 53.3% of 18- to 34-year-olds were homeowners in 2006, compared to 47.7% of the same age cohort in 2016.
To identify the states where the most people live with their parents, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the share of 18- to 34-year-olds living with their parents in each state, with data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 report, “The Changing Economics and Demographics of Young Adulthood: 1975–2016.” The cost of living in each state, or regional price parity, came from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and is for 2016. The median age of men and women when they were first married in each state came from the Census Bureau’s 2016 American Consumer Survey. We calculated an average age at first marriage weighted using the ratio of male to female populations in each state between 15 and 54 years old — the same age group considered within the male and female median age at first marriage figures.
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