The share of Americans in their 20s moving home is skyrocketing

Many young adults are moving back home due to Covid-19.
Many young adults are moving back home due to Covid-19.
Image: Reuters/Jeff Topping
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The kids are heading home. About 35% of Americans in their 20s lived with either their parents or grandparents in June 2020, according to data from the US’s monthly employment survey. This is up from just over 30% in February 2020, before the Covid-19 pandemic reached the US. The increase in young adults moving back with their family was first reported by real estate company Zillow.

Why it’s important: The economic effects of Covid-19 are hitting young workers in the US hard. The share of employed 20 to 29-year-olds shrank by about 11% from February to June, compared to about 6% for the population 30 and older. With such dire job market prospects, these young adults are relying on family to help them through this period. The share of people in their 30s living with parents or grandparents has not changed.

Why it’s interesting: The flood of young adults returning to live with their parents may impact housing prices in cities across the US. Zillow estimates that young adults returning home represent about 1.4% of the overall US rental market, and almost 2% of the market in cities like Austin, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee. It’s possible that this decreased demand for housing will slow rental price increases.

How to find more data: The data, which are used to calculate the unemployment rate, come from the US’s Current Population Survey, a monthly survey of about 60,000 households.

This story is part of a new series we’re trying, “The Thing,” in which we examine what a single chart can tell us about the global economy.