Demographic Trend: More young adults are living with their parents than ever before.

rising trend for young adults to live with parents

Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed the rising trend for young adults living at home with their parents.

Over one in four people aged between 20 and 34 years old are currently living at home with their parents. Classed as ‘non-dependent’ children by the ONS, this equates to a 1.3 million in 2019, an increase of 46.2% over the past two decades.

Closer study of the figures confirms that over this time period men have been more likely than women to still live at home, with 31.4% of men aged 20 to 34 living with their parents, compared to 19.9% of young women.

Over one in four people aged between 20 and 34 years old are currently living at home with their parents. #demographictrends #multi-generationalhouseholds Click To Tweet

The ONS states that there have been a number of reasons for this, with the first being that there has been a decline in home ownership among young people.

The percentage of young adults owning their home decreased from 55% in 1996 to 30% in 2015 for 25 to 29 year olds, and 68% to 46% for 30 to 34 year olds. Saving for a deposit is often seen as one of the biggest hurdles to owning your own home, with the size of deposits paid remaining over 20% of the purchase price on average.

Another financial reason that might affect when young adults are able to leave the parental home could be changes to housing benefit entitlement for those under 35.

However, according to the ONS, there are other factors also driving this trend. The first is that there are now delays in formalising relationships, with the average age at first marriage for men in England and Wales being 32 in 2012, compared to 29 in 1996. This was slightly lower for women at 30 in 2012, and 27 in 1996.

The arrival of the first child was often a driver in the formalisation of relationships, and the average age for women in England and Wales to have their first baby was 29 in 2014 compared to 27 in 1996.

Added to this, increasing numbers of young adults are staying in education longer – in 2015 1.9million 18-to-24-year-olds were in full-time education compared to 1.1 million in 1996. To reduce costs while at university, many are choosing to stay in the parental home, with 24% of UK undergraduates living with their parents in 2014 compared to 12% in 1996.

So why does this matter?

The rise of the multi-generational household will have a significant affect on how houses are designed and built in the future, which will present both challenges and opportunities for brands.

Consumer and behavioural futurist Will Higham told Trend-Monitor that he believes this will have a particular impact on kitchens and bathrooms.

“You need to have more bathrooms if you’ve got more people in a home, but also the bathroom needs to be functional for all generations. They need to be safe with more rails as well as offer an escape for people to get away from the big household. This trend is also going to accelerate the kitchen diner and kitchen as a social place.”

Will Higham, Consumer Futurist
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