The share of Americans in their 20s moving home is skyrocketing

Leonie Dorado, a transgender news anchor, looks at family photos with her parents Carol Arce and Hugo Dorado at her home, amid the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in La Paz, Bolivia, July 1, 2020. Picture taken July 1, 2020. REUTERS/David Mercado - RC2DOH91DSBG

About 35% of Americans in their 20s lived with either their parents or grandparents in June 2020. Image: REUTERS/David Mercado- RC2DOH91DSBG

Dan Kopf
Reporter, Quartz
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  • The number of young adults moving back in with their parents and grandparents has risen significantly in the US.
  • Since 2006, the rate of people in their 20s living with family has continued to rise steadily. However, the pandemic has accelerated this trend, resulting in a 5% increase as of February 2020.
  • COVID-19 has been particularly bad economically for the young, as employment rates of 20 to 29-year-olds have fallen by 11% since February.

The kids are heading home. About 35% of Americans in their 20s lived with either their parents or grandparents in June 2020, according to data from the US’s monthly employment survey. This is up from just over 30% in February 2020, before the Covid-19 pandemic reached the US. The increase in young adults moving back with their family was first reported by real estate company Zillow.

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Share of people in their 20s in the US living with parents or grandparents. Image: Quatrz

Why it’s important: The economic effects of Covid-19 are hitting young workers in the US hard. The share of employed 20 to 29-year-olds shrank by about 11% from February to June, compared to about 6% for the population 30 and older. With such dire job market prospects, these young adults are relying on family to help them through this period. The share of people in their 30s living with parents or grandparents has not changed.

Why it’s interesting: The flood of young adults returning to live with their parents may impact housing prices in cities across the US. Zillow estimates that young adults returning home represent about 1.4% of the overall US rental market, and almost 2% of the market in cities like Austin, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee. It’s possible that this decreased demand for housing will slow rental price increases.

How to find more data: The data, which are used to calculate the unemployment rate, come from the US’s Current Population Survey, a monthly survey of about 60,000 households.

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