Number of young adults living with parents reaches record high

Data shows one in four people aged 20-34 still living at home, with young men considerably more likely to be doing so than young women

Nearly a third of males aged 20 to 34 years in the UK are living with their parents in 2017, with the same applying for a fifth of their female counterparts
Nearly a third of males aged 20 to 34 years in the UK are living with their parents in 2017, with the same applying for a fifth of their female counterparts

The number of young adults living with their parents has reached an all-time high, with more than a quarter of people aged 20 to 34 still living at home, new figures have revealed.

Data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that the percentage of young adults living with their parents in the UK has risen from just over a fifth (21 per cent) in 1996 to 26 per cent in 2017, rising from 2.7 million to 3.4 million in the past two decades.

Young men are considerably more likely to still be living with their parents than their female counterparts. The figures show that nearly a third (32 per cent) of males aged 20 to 34 years are currently living with their parents, compared with only a fifth (20 per cent) of females in the same age group.

The ONS suggests that the larger numbers of young adults tending to stay at home for longer may be explained by staying in education and training for longer, formalising relationships and having children at older ages, and increased costs in renting or buying a home.

Emily Knipe, of the ONS, told The Independent: “Social and demographic reasons could be explainers of why more males are living with their parents than females – for example forming relationships or marrying women younger than themselves.

“It is also worth noting that for younger women, if they have a child and are a single parent they are classed as a family of their own. Even if they are within their parent's household still, this means they would not be included as a young adult living with their parents in our statistics.

“This is likely to disproportionately affect women because the data tells us that lone parents are more likely to be women.”

Concerns over house prices for young adults were raised in research published by homeless charity Shelter in 2014. The study predicted that the proportion of young adults still living with their parents would pass 50 per cent within a generation unless radical action was taken to tackle Britain’s housing shortage.

It warned that the average house price in England could double to £446,000 in 10 years if current trends in the “broken” housing market continue, and could quadruple to more than £900,900 by 2034.

The ONS data also shows that the number of people aged 45 to 64 who live alone increased by 53 per cent between 1996 and 2017 – a statistically significant increase.

This is partly due to the increasing population aged 45 to 64 years in the UK over this period, but the increase could also be due to a rise in the proportion of the population aged 45 to 64 years who are divorced or single and never married.

Those aged 65 to 74 years living alone also saw a statistically significant increase of 15 per cent over the two decades. The number living alone aged 75 and over also increased over the two decades to 2017, by a larger percentage of 24 per cent.

In contrast, the number living alone in the 25 to 44 age group fell by 16 per cent between 1996 and 2017 – also a statistically significant change.

Students living in halls of residence during term-time and living with their parents outside term-time are counted as not living with their parents in these figures. The term “parent” could include grandparents, step parents or foster parents.

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