Why More Young Adults Are Living with Parents

Article excerpt

Byline: Rachael Misstear West Wales Editor rachael.misstear@walesonline.co.uk

RISING rents, tougher mortgage criteria, and higher unemployment mean more young adults in Wales are staying in the family home, official figures show.

Wales has seen the biggest jump in the proportion of young people in the UK living with their parents, reaching 152,000 in 2011-13 at 27% - up from 24% in 2010-12.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures reveal more than 3.3 million adults in the UK, aged between 20 and 34 were living with parents in 2013, 26% of that age group.

The number has increased by a quarter, or 669,000 people, since 1996. This is despite the fact that the number of 20 to 34-year-olds in the UK remains almost the same, the ONS said.

The increase is said to be largely down to the economic downturn - with young unemployed people more likely to be living with their parents.

The data reveals big gender and regional differences. One in three men aged 20 to 34 live at home, compared with one in five women. The report said women are more likely to be part of couples, or be single parents, or to be in higher education. "In the 20-34 age group, more than 600,000 more women than men were living as part of a couple in their own household," it said. "The main reason for this is that, on average, women form partnerships with men older than themselves. Thus more women than men in this age group were married or cohabiting."

In addition, 589,000 more women than men were lone parents in their own household, and women were more likely to take part in higher education than men, leaving the family home to do so.

Despite the high costs of living in the London area, only 22% of adults in this age bracket live with their parents, while in Northern Ireland the figure is 36%.

In 2013, 49% of 20 to 24-year-olds lived with their parents, compared to 21% of 25 to 29-year-olds and 8% of 30 to 34-year-olds. Compared with other age groups over the past five years, the percentage of those aged between 20 and 24 living with their parents increased most noticeably. In 2008, 42% of 20 to 24-year-olds lived with their parents.

The Office for National Statistics said: "This may be due to the recent economic downturn, an argument consistent with academic research.

"In addition, published figures show that 13% of the economically active population aged 18 to 24 was unemployed during April to June 2008, rising to 19% during April to June 2013."

The ONS has warned that rising house prices have made it more dif-ficult for young people to afford to buy their own home, with many forced to live with their parents to save up a deposit.

Graduates leaving university have also struggled to find work, and have returned to the family home and taken less well-paid jobs that they hoped a degree would secure them.

Paul Diggory, chief executive of North Wales Housing, said: "These are the kinds of figures we follow closely. The starkest ones we have found came from the Chartered Institute of Housing, which showed that the average age of a first-time buyer is actually around 40.

"It can put a lot of strain of families.

I don't think it is so bad for better off families who have a lot of space in their homes, but this applying increasingly to young people who are living with younger brothers in homes that are quite crowded. …