Can We Please Fix America So Our Kids Move Out Before They're 30?

by Valerie Williams
Originally Published: 

Adults are living with their parents at the highest rate in 130 years

Sometimes, our kids ask if they can live with us “forever” and we parents chuckle and say, “Sure, sweetheart!” but on the inside, we’re imagining the moment they move out and their bedroom becomes our new workout room or sewing room or walk-in closet or whatever your thing is. However, the reality is that more adults than ever are still living with their parents, long beyond age 18.

America, can we please get our shit together so our kids live on their own before they’re 30?

Check out this little factoid from a Pew Research Center analysis:

In 2014, for the first time in more than 130 years, adults ages 18 to 34 were slightly more likely to be living in their parents’ home than they were to be living with a spouse or partner in their own household.

So…130 years ago. Basically, back when women were expected to live at home with their parents and be courted in the parlor under close supervision until they found a suitable mate. Glad we’re moving forward, America!

All jokes aside, a little Googling will prove there are likely a number of factors for this trend. Much of them having to do with money, of course. Many of us are probably still paying down our school loans and the cost of college has only gone up in recent years, so current generations are understandably burdened. Young adults wanting to pay off student loans before settling down have an easier time saving money if they live with mom and dad, obviously. Also, master’s degrees are on the rise overall, and those aren’t exactly cheap. Even more reason to stay rent-free a little longer.


And while unemployment is actually the lowest it’s been in several years, many young adults are still opting to remain at home a lot longer than previous generations. This could be because aside from high student loan payments, rent is insanely ridiculously high and in many cities, it costs less monthly to own a home than it does to rent.

But above all other factors, Pew says it’s the fact that the average age for marriage has risen slowly over the years to 27 for women and nearing 30 for men. As Pew points out in explaining the rise in adults living with their parents, “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.”

OK, parents. Now we know what we must do to reclaim our homes before our kids are getting gray hairs right along with us. We have to play matchmaker and help them launch into the world a helluva a lot sooner. My personal fitness room isn’t going to materialize out of thin air. One of my kids will need to vacate someday to make my dreams come true.

I’m kidding. Mostly.

This trend clearly has a lot of factors and it’s wonderful for adults to take their time selecting a mate, or to not marry at all if they don’t want to, but we will eventually want our homes to ourselves. So for parents, this trend sort of sucks. It could be nice having them home longer, especially if they’re employed and contributing toward the household costs. But too many adults living in one house can have drawbacks, for certain.

My brother lived with my parents until he was nearly 27, which is relatively young compared to the Pew research showing this trend extends to age 34. He wanted a home of his own, but also, my parents were tired of his late-night solo karaoke sessions and tendency to eat 72% of the groceries my mom bought in under 24 hours. They loved him dearly, but there’s a reason baby birds eventually fly the nest. It’s the natural order of things and kids grow up and need to get the frick out at some point.

So kids, we will support you and house you until whenever you need (cringe) but maybe don’t need it until your early 30s? Maybe? We want our lives back at some point, no matter how much we love you.

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