Gone are the days when society stigmatized adults for living in their parent’s basements. Today, millennials are moving back in with their families in droves. Amid the rising cost of living and job insecurity, the comforts of home provide a space to recuperate and get back on their feet.
However, it isn’t just millennials asking for a copy of the house key. Older adults — parents and grandparents — are also being welcomed into their grown children’s homes.
Looking at the big picture, it makes sense why millennials embrace multi-generational living. Let’s look at the rising trend of multi-generational households and why millennials are cohabitating with one or more age groups.
Multi-Generational Living Is on the Rise
According to Generations United, one in four households is multi-generational — a 271% increase in the last decade. About 70% of families plan to stay together under one roof long-term.
The largest share of multi-generational households are in the South, parts of the Midwest and Puerto Rico. About 18.9% of New Mexico homes are multi-generational, while multi-generational living in Texas and California ranges from 14% to 16.9%.
Reasons for families to move in together vary by generational needs. Some older adults require care, while some parents can’t afford child care. Other times, younger people have a lack of financial stability or job status.
With market conditions unlikely to change much soon, living together may be the best and only solution for people to make ends meet — especially millennials and young adults.
6 Reasons Millennials Are Back at Home
Millennials may or may not be enthusiastic about moving back in with their parents. However, they could have good reasons for doing so — some may not even have a choice. Here are seven reasons why millennials are embracing multi-generational living.
Taking care of aging parents is a priority for millennials. According to Caring Advisor, 62.7% of millennials tend to their parents in their parent’s homes.
Many survey respondents said they felt their homes were inadequate to have their parents come to live with them, requiring significant changes to make them safer and more accessible. For instance, there may not be the 25 square feet needed for an elevator to transport a parent between house levels. Bathrooms, doorways and hallways may also be too narrow for a wheelchair.
When parents become roommates, it could also mean free child care. American families spend up to 19.3% of their incomes on infant child care — equal to $15,417 annually.
Grandparents have ample experience with kids and know how to soothe a crying baby — a relief for those who struggle leaving their children at a day care center.
Offset Living Costs
Living costs are exponentially high, and many millennials need help affording the essentials. Inflation tripled from 1.4% to 7% between 2020 and 2021, with prices still teetering on the high end.
For example, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the median income is $52,087. However, if you are a homeowner or renter, you must make over $80,000 to live comfortably with basic necessities.
The cost of living comprises housing, groceries, taxes, health care, transportation, clothing and education. When millennials embrace multi-generational living, they can share living expenses with other household occupants.
The American Dream is now a distant one. About 57% of millennials believe they must win the lottery to buy a house. While many hope to own their own home someday, most don’t have enough money saved up.
Likewise, paying astronomical rents — especially in metropolitan hubs where most jobs are — makes saving impossible. The median home price is currently $416,100 — a 26% increase from $329,000 in 2020.
Moving into a multi-generational household encourages millennials to sock money away for big purchases, be it a car, a house or a higher degree.
Pay Off Student Loan Debts
Millennials have racked up thousands in student loans, making it hard to live independently. Moving into a multi-generational home allows them to pay off debts faster and more efficiently.
About 15 million millennials carry college loans — the highest demographic group among all other generations. The average loan for millennial borrowers is $33,173.
Student loan debts are a problem in the U.S., preventing 29% of millennials from buying a home and 31% from purchasing a car. Another 33% say outstanding loans impact their chances of returning to school, and 14% say their loans are prohibiting them from starting a family.
Remain Close With Family and Friends
Sometimes, you just want to be closer to the people you love most. Embracing multi-generational living means spending more time with family and friends.
A millennial may have spent years living across the country or abroad for work, with little opportunity to go home. The pandemic also caused many people to reprioritize what matters most.
According to one study, a greater emphasis was placed on family care during COVID-19, increasing life satisfaction despite dire circumstances. Moving back in with parents or grandparents could be a way for them to feel more fulfilled.
Deal With Economic Uncertainty
Another reason millennials are moving into multi-generational households is because of economic instability and job loss.
Technology companies, in particular, underwent mass layoffs in 2022 and 2023. What was notoriously one of the highest-paying industries in the U.S. slashed 158,535 employees this year alone. It isn’t just tech companies, though — health care corporations, financial institutions and automotive manufacturers are among the many others having to make cuts.
Millennials also have difficulty finding work nowadays. A new study determined companies take 44 days to hire someone for a position. Therefore, it may be impossible to afford to live alone while unemployed.
Generations Living Together Tend to Stay Together
Multi-generational living arrangements may be temporary or permanent. Whether it’s something you want to do or would prefer not, moving back in with one’s family has undeniable benefits. Embracing multi-generational living could be the first step you need to live independently in the world again.