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What State Has The Most Young Adults Living With Their Parents?

The public health and economic toll the coronavirus pandemic caused are well documented. Perhaps less understood are the social impacts. According to a report from Pew Research Center, young adults in the United States were more likely to be living with at least one parent in July 2020 than at any time since the Great Depression.

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The historic numbers of young adults either moving back home or choosing to remain there during the pandemic appears to have been a continuation of a broader trend. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 34.4% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 lived with at least one parent, grandparent, or former guardian in 2019 -- compared to 31.5% in 2010.

The likelihood of young adults residing with their parents varies considerably from state to state.

In New Jersey, 45.1% of the 1.9 million residents between the ages of 18 and 34 live with at least one parent or grandparent, the largest share of any state in the county.

Several economic factors may help explain the greater likelihood that young adults live at home in the Garden State. For one, the state is one of the most expensive places to live in the country, with a cost of living 16.0% greater than the national average. New Jersey also has a relatively weak job market. An average of 9.8% of the state's labor force were unemployed in 2020, and as of March 2021, the jobless rate in the state stood at 7.8%. Meanwhile, the comparable unemployment rates nationwide are 8.1% and 6.2%, respectively.

To determine the states where the most young adults live with their parents, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on family and household type from the Public Use Microdata Sample summary files of the U.S. Census Bureau's 2019 American Community Survey. States were ranked on the percentage of adults 18 to 34 years old who live with their biological parents, adoptive parents, steparents, foster parents, or grandparents in 2019. Supplemental data on the median age at first marriage of the 15 to 54 year-old cohort came from the Census Bureau's 2019 ACS. Data on regional price parity used to calculate cost of living came from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and is for 2019.

Rank State 18-34 year-olds living with parents (%) Median age at first marriage (years) March 2021 unemployment (%)
1 New Jersey 45.1 30.3 7.8
2 Florida 40.5 30.3 5.3
3 California 40.2 30.3 8.2
4 Mississippi 39.7 27.3 6.3
5 Connecticut 39.6 31.1 8.3
6 Maryland 39.5 30.2 6.0
7 Rhode Island 38.8 31.2 7.2
8 New Mexico 38.3 30.1 8.0
9 New York 37.7 30.7 8.5
10 Hawaii 37.4 29.6 8.6
11 Georgia 36.8 29.0 4.0
12 Illinois 36.2 29.9 7.1
13 South Carolina 36.0 29.2 4.8
14 Louisiana 35.7 29.2 6.6
15 Texas 35.6 28.4 7.2
16 Alabama 35.4 27.9 3.4
17 Michigan 35.0 29.5 5.2
18 New Hampshire 34.9 29.6 3.2
19 Delaware 34.3 30.5 6.6
20 Arizona 34.1 29.5 6.5
21 Pennsylvania 34.1 29.8 7.3
22 Massachusetts 32.9 30.7 6.6
23 North Carolina 32.9 28.9 4.6
24 Virginia 32.7 29.2 5.1
25 West Virginia 31.7 27.5 6.1
26 Nevada 31.4 29.2 7.6
27 Tennessee 31.3 27.8 5.1
28 Alaska 31.0 28.7 7.1
29 Ohio 30.4 29.1 4.9
30 Arkansas 30.4 26.4 4.8
31 Indiana 29.9 28.5 4.7
32 Kentucky 29.6 27.7 5.0
33 Utah 29.5 25.8 2.9
34 Missouri 28.8 28.1 4.4
35 Maine 27.8 29.2 5.4
36 Oklahoma 27.3 26.8 4.1
37 Oregon 26.7 29.6 6.5
38 Wisconsin 26.4 28.8 4.8
39 Minnesota 26.3 29.0 4.5
40 Washington 26.1 28.8 6.1
41 Idaho 26.0 26.7 4.0
42 Vermont 25.9 30.0 3.3
43 Montana 25.2 28.3 4.4
44 Kansas 25.2 27.4 3.8
45 Colorado 24.6 28.9 6.5
46 South Dakota 21.5 26.8 3.3
47 Nebraska 21.4 27.3 2.8
48 Iowa 21.1 27.8 4.4
49 Wyoming 20.3 26.0 5.9
50 North Dakota 14.3 27.4 4.8

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