Kristi Eaton at Campus Progress wrote a piece this week discussing a Future of Children study finding an increased rate of young people staying at home with their parents.

Today’s typical 22-year-old is living at home longer, is more financially insecure, and is making lower wages than previous generations. These factors contribute to a delay in the start of “adulthood,” says Richard Settersten, a professor of human development and family sciences at Oregon State University and co-author of the study. The study [PDF] notes that leaving home, finding a job, and becoming financially independent was, for a long time, the determination that made someone an adult.


The economic opportunities for the Baby Boomer generation, born between 1946 and 1964, were vast. Settersten notes that the current economic recession is making tasks that were once associated with the start of adulthood more difficult; now young adults are living with their parents longer or returning home later. In fact, Millennials are similar to the youth of the G.I. Generation (born 1901-1924) because they are slow to leave home and start families. For today’s young adult, the recession is largely blamed for the delaying of adulthood. In fact, half of Millennials still rely on financial support from their family, while a third of all 18 to 29 year-olds receive help from parents or other family members, according to the Pew Research Center.

Eaton concludes her piece by correctly linking this phenomenon with its root cause: a lack of jobs.