Young men in 2016 are more likely to live with a parent than to live with a spouse or partner; not so for women. Graphic: Pew Research Center

By Aimee Picchi
24 May 2016

(CBS News) – The kids may not be alright, at least when it comes to one traditional mark of growing up: moving out of their childhood homes.

More young adults are now living with their parents than with a spouse or partner, marking a tipping point for the first time in modern history, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center. About 32.1 percent of Americans between 18 to 34 years old lived in their parents' homes in 2014, edging out the 31.6 percent who were married or living with a partner in their own household, the analysis of Census data found. The remaining 36 percent either live alone, are single parents, or live in dorms or with other relatives.

The trend appears to be tied to a few factors, including what Pew calls a "postponement of, if not retreat from, marriage." While changing society norms may be part of the cause, it's likely also tied to economic and labor market trends that have walloped a few demographic groups, such as men, people without college degrees, and people of color. Some might start families and form their own households later in life, but it's clear that for many young Americans, their priorities have shifted, either from choice or necessity.

"Young adults today are having a different transition into adulthood than previous generations," said Richard Fry, a senior researcher at Pew. "In previous generations, setting up new families was a basic thing young adults were doing. Even in the 1980s, half of them were married. Today's young adults are moving away from that."

While the recession and weak recovery may have fed into the trend, forcing some young Americans to live at home if they had trouble finding a job, the shift started long before the most recent economic downturn, Fry said. [more]

For young Americans, living with their parents is now the norm

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