The Majority Of Young Adults Have Moved Back In With Their Parents Due To The Pandemic

by Leah Groth
Woman moving in with parents
10'000 Hours/Getty Images

The last time this many young adults were living with their parents was during the Great Depression

The coronavirus pandemic has undeniably changed the dynamics of society. When the nation’s shutdown started in mid-March and the majority of the country was advised to shelter in place, many young adults headed home to stay with mom and dad to ride out the pandemic. In fact, according to a new poll, over half of young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 are currently living at home with their parents — the most since the Great Depression.

During the month of July, the majority of young Americans — 52 percent of them — were living with one or both of their parents, according to a Pew Research Center poll published on Friday. Compared against monthly Census Bureau data from years before, this is higher than any previous measurement.

Pew Research Center

“Before 2020, the highest measured value was in the 1940 census at the end of the Great Depression, when 48 percent of young adults lived with their parents,” the report states. “The peak may have been higher during the worst of the Great Depression in the 1930s, but there is no data for that period.”

To put this in perspective, from February — shortly before the shelter-in-place orders were administered in most of the country — until July, an additional 2.6 million young adults were living with mom and pops. Those on the younger end of the young adult spectrum (18 to 24) as well as white young adults experienced the sharpest growth.

“The number and share of young adults living with their parents grew across the board for all major racial and ethnic groups, men and women, and metropolitan and rural residents, as well as in all four main census regions,” Pew says.

Pew Research Center

Surprisingly, the racial and ethnic gap from previous years seems to be closing in when it comes to cohabitation with parents.

“In past decades, white young adults have been less likely than their Asian, Black and Hispanic counterparts to live with their parents. That gap has narrowed since February as the number of white young adults living with their mothers and/or fathers grew more than for other racial and ethnic groups,” the report states.

The survey found that young adults “have been particularly hard hit by this year’s pandemic and economic downturn, and have been more likely to move than other age groups.” In fact, approximately one-in-ten (9 percent) surveyed revealed that they had temporarily or permanently relocated due to the coronavirus outbreak, and 10 percent had another person move into their household. Twenty-three percent of young adults who moved attributed it to their college campus closing. However, 18 percent revealed that it was due to job loss or other financial reasons. The report also points out that this age group is more likely than other age groups to experience unemployment or a pay cut as a result of the pandemic.

Information about COVID-19 is rapidly changing, and Scary Mommy is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. With news being updated so frequently, some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For this reason, we are encouraging readers to use online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization to remain as informed as possible.