A new national roundup delivered not so great news to our door this morning. We all love to mock the concept of grown adults, the millennial, still living with their parents. Before, we frowned upon it because we considered that a sign of laziness and immaturity.
Now, we see it as a major problem because of what it says about our economy.
CNS News reports that out of all 50 states, Connecticut has the 2nd largest amount of millennials still living with their parents. Not only that, the Census Bureau confirms that young adults are more likely to live with their parents “than any other living arrangement.”
On top of that, the Census Bureau revealed something else that should have all of us worried. They ruled that living with a parent is, “most stable living arrangement.”
How awful does our housing market have to be in order for that to happen? Apparently, pretty damn bad.
As a millennial who opted to secure a Masters in Journalism, I understand exactly how this happened. Sure, my degree helped me find a job which, in turn, helped me afford a home. But, I still graduated $120,000 in debt.
And between 2012 and 2013, I lived with my parents until I managed to find a job in my field. But, when I left that job in 2016 for an opportunity here, I moved back in with my parents because… it’s Connecticut.
And there was no way that I’d find a one bedroom apartment in Fairfield County that allowed pets and also had a garage… for $725. Trust me, I looked. So, I opted to become a homeowner because, strangely, that was the more affordable option.
Sure, I live independently now, but it still doesn’t excuse the fact that I moved back in with my parents because it really was the most stable living environment.
And, unfortunately, my case is not the majority. In fact, it seems that once a millennial moves home with their parents, they’re there to stay. Even the Census Bureau agrees, “Almost 9 in 10 young people who were living in their parents’ home a year ago are still living there today.”
Blame criminally low wages and high cost of living, or the fact that kids these days start their life six digits in debt. Basically, the deck’s stacked against the millennial from the start. But, some like myself, have an easier time cutting it than others.
Sure, 40 years ago the majority of kids 18-34 lived with a spouse and had kids. In 2017, it’s the exact opposite with over 22 million millennials living with their parents.
The majority of those ages 18 through 34 now live with their parents. On top of that, birth rates and marriage rates are the lowest out of any generation.
Interestingly enough, the Census Bureau says the switch in young adult independence fell as wages slid for young men.
“In 1975, only 25 percent of men, aged 25 to 34, had incomes of less than $30,000 per year. By 2016, that share rose to 41 percent of young men (incomes for both years are in 2015 dollars). There are now more young women than young men with a college degree, whereas in 1975 educational attainment among young men outpaced that of women”
Again, there’s the argument for criminally low wages again. And we all know Connecticut has an explicit wage problem.
But, all that aside, the big question is how come the “richest” states have the most young adults living at home? When glancing at the chart, New Jersey had the highest concentration of the “millennial living at home.” Connecticut is 2nd and, in 3rd, is New York.
Maryland and Florida make up the top 5. And before you ask, Rhode Island, California, and Massachusetts all made the top 10.
It honestly is a very shocking revelation. Why does this issue seemingly affect “richer” states?
The Census Bureau explains why young adults in “poorer” states have it easier living on their own:
“For one, local labor and housing markets shape the ability of young people to find good jobs and affordable housing, which in turn affects whether and when they form their own households.”
On top of that, this trend seemingly came on suddenly and very quickly. 10 years ago, more young adults lived in their own home with a spouse than with their parents. Living with a spouse was the most popular living arrangement in 35 states.
But, in 2015, that number fell to six.
And, if our national recovery continues to sputter, you’ll only see this problem become worse. For a nation that prides itself for bettering itself with every generation, that’s embarrassing.
What needs to happen to reverse this trend? Personally, I say start with the colleges and their crazy tuition hikes.
If you have a suggestion, let me know in the comments below. And, if you’re a millennial reading this, tell us your living arrangement and why you chose it.