Jan 27, 2024 - News

Why Chicago millennials are still living with their parents

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

Over 18% of Chicago's millennials lived with their parents in 2022, Axios' Erin Davis reports from the latest census figures.

  • That's compared with the national average share of 15.8%.

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

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

Zoom in: Clarendon Hills parent Lucia Cueto's son is among the many Chicago-area Gen Z adults living with their parents.

  • Her 20-year-old daughter also plans to move home to save on rent. She'll commute downtown to UIC, while her twin brother drives to community college.
  • "We keep her bedroom at home, but she may want to adapt the basement as her own studio apartment and pay us a symbolic rent," Cueto tells Axios.

What's happening: In addition to saving money, more younger adults could also be staying home to care for family members, says Adina Dragos, research analyst at RentCafe, an apartment search website.

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

  • Nearly 55% of millennials owned a home in 2023, up from 52% in 2022, according to a new Redfin report.
  • Meanwhile, adult Gen Z's 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 big reason why renters are feeling badly about their finances, according to the Axios Vibes survey by The Harris Poll.

💭 Axios Chicago reporter Monica Eng's thought bubble: My son has moved back home after college. He pays expenses while working as a teacher and figuring out his odds of becoming a professional athlete.

  • For now, it's just nice to have him around for family dinners.
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