It used to be that most parents would provide their kids with food and shelter until they left high school. Some would stick around home while attending higher education, but most would move out on their own and start taking responsibility for themselves.
Then a funny thing happened in the economy. Stuff changed. Incomes declined while the cost of living went up.
For the first time in modern history 18-34 year olds in the US are more likely living with their parents than on their own, with roommates or with a romantic partner.
A big reason is a decline in economic opportunities. As the cost of living has escalated and wages have stagnated, young people face mounting student debt and daunting barriers to renting or owning a home, creating obstacles to cohabitation and marriage.
The trend is led by young men, whose fortunes have been declining since the 1960s. While they have always lived with their parents in greater numbers than young women, this setup became the dominant living arrangement for them in 2009. In 2014 35 percent of young men lived with parents, while only 28 percent lived with a spouse or partner (for young women, the percentages are flipped: 29 and 35, respectively).
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