A Quarter of Millennials Who Live at Home Don’t Work — or Study

Half are white, and most are men, the Census Bureau reports.

Are Millennials Financially Screwed?

A life of leisure, free of bosses and bills, sure sounds like the dream — and it turns out millions of millennials are living it. But don't congratulate them yet. They're doing it under their parents' roof and not necessarily by choice. 

About a third of 18- to 34-year-olds in the U.S. live at home, the Census Bureau reported on Wednesday. That includes college dormitories. Among 25- to 34-year-olds living at home, one in four is neither enrolled in school nor working. That's 2.2 million people, a small percentage of the nation's more than 70 million millennials 1 but a striking figure nonetheless.

More 18- to-34-year-olds live with a parent than with a spouse, according to the report, The Changing Economics and Demographics of Young Adulthood: 1975–2016 (pdf). That's a major shift from the 1970s, when young people were more than twice as likely to live with a spouse. Young adults today are also likelier to be enrolled in college or graduate school than their counterparts in the '70s. 

Most of those who live at home but neither work nor study have a high school diploma or less, and about a fifth have a child. Half are white, and the majority are male. About a quarter have a disability 2

"Almost 9 in 10 young people who were living in their parents’ home a year ago are still living there today, making it the most stable living arrangement for young adults," the report said. "In 2005, the majority of young people lived independently in their own household (either alone, with a spouse, or an unmarried partner), which was the predominant living arrangement in 35 states. By 2015—just a decade later—only six states had a majority of young people living independently."  

  1. According to the report. 

  2. The report defines a disability as "hearing difficulty, vision difficulty, cognitive difficulty, ambulatory difficulty, self-care difficulty, or independent living difficulty."

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