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Share of young adults living with their parents hits four-decade high

Declining employment, rising college enrollment, and declining marriage rates among Millennials appear to be behind the trend, which was studied by the Pew Research Center.

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More than a third of young adults lived at their parents’ home in 2012, the highest rate in at least four decades, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center.

Thirty-six percent of America’s so-called Millennial generation – young adults aged 18 to 31 – lived at home last year, compared with 32 percent in 2007, prior to the Great Recession. In 2009, the year the recession officially ended, 34 percent of Millennials lived at home.

“The steady rise in the share of young adults who live in their parents’ home appears to be driven by a combination of economic, educational and cultural factors,” the Pew report states. 

Key among those factors are declining employment, rising college enrollment, and declining marriage rates, according to the report.

“I think part of this trend is indeed a reflection of the weak labor market and difficult job prospects, says Richard Fry, the report’s author. “More young adults are living with their mom or dad, but nationally, jobholding hasn’t really increased much.”

In 2012, 63 percent of 18-to-31-year-olds had jobs, compared with 70 percent in 2007. Millennials without jobs were much more likely to live at home than their employed counterparts: 45 percent to 29 percent, according to the report.

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