Updated Jan 27, 2024 - Business

Why millennials are moving back home

Share of millennials living with their parents, 2022
Data: U.S. Census via IPUMS; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Nearly 16% of U.S. millennials lived with their parents in 2022, per the latest census figures.

Why it matters: Younger people are increasingly struggling to swing high housing costs and returning to their childhood bedrooms or basements.

  • The number of Americans aged 25–34 living at home has jumped over 87% in the past two decades, according to census data.

What's happening: Younger generations may be staying home to save on expenses like rent or a future down payment, says Adina Dragos, research analyst at RentCafe, an apartment search website.

  • More young adults could also be choosing to care for family members, Dragos tells Axios.

What they're saying: Sharon Wilson's 29-year-old son and his wife live in her remodeled basement apartment in southern Minnesota.

  • "The plan is for me to downsize and move downstairs, and they take over the upstairs" as they start a family, says Wilson, who tells Axios she's grateful to have family close after her husband died.

Commerce City, Colorado, parent Greg Francis has two Gen Z adults at home: a college student and a recent graduate.

  • "He's way ahead of where I was at his age," Francis says of his older son, who pays a small rent but uses the bulk of his paychecks to pay down student debt and invest.
  • The younger brother is staying home to avoid racking up student debt, and he'll continue living there after graduation.

Reality check: Plunging affordability hasn't stopped some millennials from buying homes, often with family help.

  • Nearly 55% of millennials (those aged 27–42) owned a home in 2023, up from 52% in 2022, according to a new Redfin report.
  • Meanwhile, adult Gen Zers' (those aged 19–26) homeownership rate stagnated at just over 26%.

What we're watching: Those who move out might find rent is a lot more expensive than it was a few years ago, even as price increases slowed last year.

  • It's one reason why renters are feeling badly about their finances, according to the Axios Vibes survey by The Harris Poll.

Go deeper: Multigenerational living is up 1M households in last decade; here's which states

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