Agenda in Focus: Civil Society

More young adults in the US are living with their parents. Not everyone thinks it’s a bad thing

A young adult hugging a parent in front of packing boxes.

Around half of young adults aged 18 to 29 in the US live with one or both of their parents. Image: Pexels/Ketut Subiyanto

Dipo Fadeyi
Intern , Pew Research Center.
Juliana Menasce Horowitz
Associate director of research, Pew Research Center
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Agenda in Focus: Civil Society

  • Almost half of adults aged 18 to 29 in the US live with one or both of their parents, following big rises in recent decades.
  • Attitudes about whether this is good for society differ significantly by race and ethnicity, age, gender, income and political preference.
  • Men are more likely than women to say it’s a bad thing
  • White adults also view it more negatively than Black, Hispanic or Asian American adults.

The share of young adults in the United States who are living with a parent has grown considerably in recent decades, a trend that many Americans see as bad for society, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in October 2021.

A graphic showing percentages of whether it's good or bad for young adults to be living with parents.
Over a third of Americans (36%) say that more young adults living with their parents is bad for society. Image: Pew Research Center.

Over a third of Americans (36%) say that more young adults living with their parents is bad for society, while 16% say it is good for society. Nearly half of Americans (47%) say it doesn’t make a difference.

In July 2022, half of adults ages 18 to 29 were living with one or both of their parents. This was down from a recent peak of 52% in June 2020 but still significantly higher than the share who were living with their parents in 2010 (44% on average that year) or 2000 (38% on average).

Attitudes about this trend differ significantly by race and ethnicity, age, gender, income and political party. White adults (41%) are more likely than Black (26%), Hispanic (28%) and Asian American adults (23%) to say that more young adults living with their parents is bad for society. They are also the least likely to see this as a good thing (12% say this, vs. 24% of Black adults, 23% of Hispanic adults and 27% of Asian adults). Similar shares across racial and ethnic groups say that more young adults living with their parents doesn’t make a difference for society.

Across age groups, larger shares say more adults living with their parents is bad for society than say it is good for society. But adults younger than 30 are less likely than older adults to see this as a bad thing.

Men are more likely than women to say it’s bad for society that more young people are living with their parents (42% vs. 31%). Income is also associated with views on this issue. Upper-income adults (46%) are more likely than those with middle (39%) or lower (28%) incomes to say more young adults living with their parents is bad for society. Among lower-income adults, roughly one-in-four (23%) say this trend is good for society.

A smaller share of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents than Republicans and Republican leaners see more young adults living with their parents as bad for society (29% vs. 48%, respectively). In turn, Democrats are nearly twice as likely as Republicans to see more young adults living with their parents as a good thing (20% vs. 11%).

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