Young adults living with parents: Education

Alexander Fishkov

Alexander Fishkov, Ph.D. student Computer Science

As we have seen previously, the number of young adults living with parents has been steadily increasing in the past decades. In this post, we will examine how this trend relates to education. As before, we used IPUMS to get ACS data for multiple years and restricted our scope to people 18 to 34 years old.

If we look at the education levels of respondents, we see an elevated percentage of home-stayers who only finished 11th grade: 56 percent of these individuals ended up living with their parents. Not finishing high school can have a dramatic impact on one’s future — job opportunities and possible future income are not as promising. After 11th grade, the percentage of home-stayers decreases, with an increase of education level for both genders.

Another observation is that women of almost all education levels are less likely to be living with their parents than men. However, for people with a bachelor's degree or higher the values are similar: 21 percent of young adults with a bachelor's degree and only 10 percent of graduate degree holders live with parents.

Prior to 2005, an increasing percentage of young men and women living with their parents were attending school: 46.6 percent of those who stayed at home were studying. After this, the trend reversed, and by 2015 only around 40 percent of young people who were living at home were attending school or university. Except for the 60s, the percentage of students among the home-stayers was higher for women than men. In 2015, 45 percent of young women in the group were studying, compared to 36.4 percent of young men.

For this last section, we examined data on the fields of study of young people who had some college education but were not currently attending school and were residing with their parents. Among these individuals, we selected the 10 most common fields overall and for each gender.

Fine arts, social sciences and psychology all made the list in spite of popular belief, although they were not on the top places. Business degrees comprised 20 percent overall and took first place in all groups, but since this field is so broad it does not say much. Social sciences, medical services and teaching followed for women (with a large gap): These degrees correspond to 7-8 percent of the group. The situation is different for young men: social sciences, engineering and computer science made it into the top five, with computer science making up 6 percent. STEM degrees are traditionally associated with great job opportunities, so it is surprising to see engineering and computer science students still staying at home after obtaining one.

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About Alexander Fishkov

Alexander Fishkov

Alexander Fishkov, Ph.D. student Computer Science

Alexander is a Ph.D. student in Computer Science. He currently holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Applied Math. He has experience working for industry major companies performing research in the fields of machine learning, data mining and natural language processing. In his free time, Alexander enjoys hiking, Nordic skiing and traveling.

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