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Nearly 40% of Europeans in their late 20s still live at home

Photographs of two young Spanish nurses hang on the wall of their home
REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo
Facing a dismal job market, young Europeans either moved back home after the recession or never really left.
  • Annabelle Timsit
By Annabelle Timsit

Geopolitics reporter

Published

Do you have fond memories of living with your parents? An attachment to the neighborhood where you grew up? For two in five Europeans in their late 20s, the four walls of their parents’ home is their daily reality.

In 2017, 39.3% of young adults in the 28 countries of the European Union still lived with at least one parent, according to data from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions survey. The proportions varied wildly between countries: While only 4% of Danes between 25 and 29 still lived at home in 2017, 75.4% of their Croatian peers did.

Economists blame the phenomenon on the 2008 recession and the following European debt crisis, which created a “boomerang generation” that moved back home because they either couldn’t find jobs or were the first to lose them.

Even as the overall economic outlook in Europe has improved, young adults still haven’t regained their footing: In 2016, 19% of people between 25 and 29 in the EU were neither employed nor in school or job training. And currently, there are still a high number of young adults who work temporary or part-time jobs and don’t make enough money to afford rent. In these situations, living at home with mom and dad may start to seem more appealing.

Some general trends in the data are apparent. Across the EU, young men are more likely to live in their parent’s home than young women. And young adults in Nordic countries typically move out the earliest, while their Southern and Eastern European peers move out the latest.

In Denmark, Finland, and Sweden, less than 10% of young adults lived at home, while in Greece, North Macedonia, and Croatia, upwards of 70% of young adults lived at home.

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