Millions of Millennials Are Moving Back Home With Their Parents—Here's Why

Spoiler alert: Money has a lot to do with it.
Mom, dad, I'm home!
Mom, dad, I'm home! / kate_sept2004/E+/Getty Images

Many Millennials live within 100 miles of their hometown. Some settle in nearby cities—but a significant number wind up right back where they started.

In the United States, the phenomenon of young people ditching their apartments for their childhood homes has continued to surge. According to census data, there has been an 87 percent spike in Americans aged 25–34 living with their families.

For some, like 30-year-old TikToker Allie Duff, living with your family as an adult can feel disheartening. “Obviously, I want to be living by myself, but I can't afford to right now, and that's my reality," she stated in a viral video

This isn’t just Duff’s reality, either: It has become the reality of 16 percent of U.S. Millennials

So, what’s causing this phenomenon? A combination of several factors, as it turns out, with financial worries outshining the rest.

Flying the nest and renting alone has become a pipe dream for many young people in the U.S. Nearly half of all renters (46 percent) reported not having the funds available when a bill was due in the past month, in contrast to 29 percent of homeowners.

Even the most “livable” U.S. cities have seen recent rent spikes. According to NerdWallet, rent costs nationwide are now 30 percent higher than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

But let’s break down just how unattainable renting alone is for Millennials. The current average for rent across the U.S. is $1983. With the mean Millennial yearly salary being $47,034—based on census data from 2020—someone who is both making an average income and paying an average rent would be spending more than 50 percent of their monthly income on living costs alone.

While income is undoubtedly the most significant factor, Millennials are also reflecting on the benefits of multigenerational living for fostering a stronger familial relationship. According to data from the Pew Research Center, while the largest reason U.S. adults live in multigenerational households is related to finances, one-third of respondents claimed that caregiving and proximity to aging loved ones is a primary reason for their living arrangement. “This time spent with my parents is truly a gift,” Duff said in her video. “I have become so close with my parents. My mom is my best friend.” 

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