This type of arrangement peaked around 1960, when 62% of the nation’s 18- to 34-year-olds were living with a spouse or partner in their own household, and only one-in-five were living with their parents.By 2014, 31.6% of young adults were living with a spouse or partner in their own household, below the share living in the home of their parent(s) (32.1%).Similarly with earnings, young men’s wages (after adjusting for inflation) have been on a downward trajectory since 1970 and fell significantly from 2000 to 2010.As wages have fallen, the share of young men living in the home of their parent(s) has risen.Beyond gender, young adults’ living arrangements differ considerably by education and racial and ethnic background—both of which are tied to economic wherewithal.For young adults without a bachelor’s degree, as of 2008 living at home with their parents was more prevalent than living with a romantic partner.
And given the weak job opportunities facing young adults, living at home was part of the private safety net helping young adults to weather the economic storm.
For their part, young women are on the cusp of crossing over this threshold: They are still more likely to be living with a spouse or romantic partner (35%) than they are to be living with their parent(s) (29%).
In 2014, more young women (16%) than young men (13%) were heading up a household without a spouse or partner.
This turn of events is fueled primarily by the dramatic drop in the share of young Americans who are choosing to settle down romantically before age 35.
Dating back to 1880, the most common living arrangement among young adults has been living with a romantic partner, whether a spouse or a significant other.