The crippling economic effects of the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic is driving millions of Americans, especially young adults, to move back in with their parents, according to a new study posted by the Pew Research Center.
The data is now showing that, as of July, 52% of young adults were living with their parents—which is five percentage points higher than in February. The actual number now sits at 26.6 million.
“The share of eighteen- to twenty-nine-year-olds living with their parents has become a majority since U.S. coronavirus cases began spreading early this year, surpassing the previous peak during the Great Depression era,” the study stated.
During the Great Depression, 48% of young adults were living with parents, according to the study.
The number of young adults living with parents “grew across the board,” and “growth was sharpest for the youngest adults (ages eighteen to twenty-four) and for White young adults.”
Generally, Asian-American, Black, and Hispanic populations are more likely to live with their parents due to cultural factors. That gap with Whites, however, has narrowed in recent months.
“As of July, more than half of Hispanic (58%) and Black (55%) young adults now live with their parents, compared with about half of White (49%) and Asian (51%) young adults,” the study revealed.
Among those surveyed, roughly 9% of young adults attributed the move to the pandemic. Over 20% of the respondents placed blame on college campuses closing and about 18% said it was because they had lost their jobs or other financial reasons.
“The youngest adults have been more likely than other age groups to lose their jobs or take a pay cut,” the study added.
“The share of sixteen- to twenty-four-year-olds who are neither enrolled in school nor employed more than doubled from February (11%) to June (28%) due to the pandemic and consequent economic downturn.”
Despite unemployment rates falling from 10.2% to 8.4% in August, only about half of the twenty-two million jobs lost due to the pandemic have been recovered so far.
These new living arrangements might also have a lasting impact on the housing market, as it will likely witness a significant decline in the number of renters and homeowners.
According to Pew, between February and July 2020, the number of households headed by an eighteen- to twenty-nine-year-old declined by 1.9 million, or 12%. The actual figure went from 15.8 million to 13.9 million.
Now more than eight months into the pandemic, there are roughly 27.4 million confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide, including at least 893,000 related deaths, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.