More than 25% of young people share parents' homes


Luke Sibson: "There is something very difficult about being a 27-year-old man living at home with your mum"

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A quarter of young people in the UK now live with their parents, official figures show.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said more than 3.3 million adults between the ages of 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.

In 1996, the earliest year for which comparable statistics are available, there were 2.7m 20 to 34-year-olds living in the family home - 21% of the age group at that time.

Graph showing total number of young adults living with their parents
Graph showing greater proportions of young men than women live with their parents

The ONS also found young men were more likely to live at home than women. One in three men live with their parents, compared with one in five women.

London has the lowest rate of 20 to 34-year-olds living with their parents, with the figure at 22%.

Case study

James Barker

James Barker, 25, has lived with his mother in Pinner, north-west London, since April 2012.

"I moved in with my mum as a stop-gap between flats, after moving about constantly after university.

"It was meant to be short-term, but it developed from there, partly for financial reasons - I suddenly had a lot of disposable income and it became quite comfortable.

"Out of my friendship group, about a quarter has spent time at home since uni. Rents are so high, especially in London. People are spending half their wages on rent so living at home is the only solution.

"I'm moving in with my partner in April or May, now that I've had changes in my financial circumstances. My mum was always aware I was going to move out at some point, but she has enjoyed having me back and has maintained it's part of her job as a mother to provide a safe haven."

Northern Ireland has the highest proportion of young adults living with their families at 36%, followed by the West Midlands at 29%.

The ONS said the size of Northern Ireland means it is more feasible to commute to work or university and remain living with parents than in other parts of the UK.

Also, cohabitation in Northern Ireland is about half as common as in the rest of the UK.

The ONS suggested the trend of living at home might be due to the recent economic downturn.

Karen Gask, senior research officer at the ONS, said: "I think one of the main reasons is housing affordability, and that's been cited by several academics who've looked into it.

"It's hard for young people to get on the housing ladder."

The ratio of house prices paid by first time buyers to their annual incomes has risen from 2.7 to 4.47 in the period from 1996 to 2013, she added.

Miss Gask also said many were delaying settling down with a partner, choosing to stay with family instead.

She added: "There are wider implications for things like fertility rates, as people often look to move out of the parental home before having children."

Krissy Josephides: "The only choice I had left was to live with Mum and the family"

Other findings from the ONS study include:

  • Some 65% of men and 52% of women aged 20 lived at home in 2013
  • The figure decreases with age. At 34, 8% of men and 3% of women were living with parents
  • The percentage of young people living with their parents who are unemployed was 13%, more than double the unemployment rate of those who live elsewhere, which was 6%
  • A total of 510,000 people aged 35 to 64, 2% of the total population in that age group, were living with parents in 2013 - this rate has stayed stable since 1996, the ONS said.

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  • rate this

    Comment number 1424.

    Those with the power to change this situation, say politicians or bankers, won't change anything as most of them got several properties. Keeping prices and rents up high in the sky is very convenient for them! The latest help to buy schemes are traps to ruin weak buyers for life. To increase consumption to push up the economy, put down the housing prices so we can spend the cash in other goods.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1423.

    I'm a 26 year old man who still lives with his parents. And it's cripplingly embarrassing. I've had numerous jobs none of which have provided me with enough money and job security to even consider flying the nest. I'm going to university this year, as getting a degree is the only way I'm going to get a good enough job to get out of here.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1422.

    Not sure which is the more depressing aspect of this discussion - the sad tales of university graduates apparently unable to find jobs, or the alternating "Tory good, Labour bad" and "Labour good, Tory bad" contributions that add nothing at all to constructive discussion.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1421.

    What absolute tripe !
    The truth is that Tories don't give a stuff for educated working class kids.Because even if they truly wanted that , then the factories, retail outlets and service jobs of the UK would shut down overnight.
    One way or another the Factories of England must and will have their working class fodder.And there's room at the top for the highest bidder's.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1420.

    @1410 said "the Socialists will always follow the ridiculous dogma that 'all must be equal'. "

    Sorry pal, but you're confusing socialism with communism. Socialism means all people working together for a better society. Sounds good to me. Communism means all people being "forced" to work together for a better society. There is a huge difference, maybe you should go back to school?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1419.

    You miss the point. The low paid peoples jobs have gone to other countries so they need to go there with them. Thats why I said emigration is the answer. They will do that if it's to expensive to live in the UK. For what it's worth, I read the Metro and the Evening Standard, both free, why pay for a paper, if you are short of income cut un-neccessary spending.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1418.

    A lot of comments on here off topic...
    Listening to my 15yr old screaming at his Xbox1 this evening I thought ....not another 15 years please!
    Seriously, there's nothing wrong with living with your parents....of course this was commonplace until about WW2 was it not? and has been through history. I'm only just discovering my elderly mother's personality,maybe I should have stayed at home longer!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1417.

    Is anyone going to mention the massive upward pressure mass immigration puts on house prices?

    Most of this immigration is from outside the EU so can easily be restricted. No action, no excuses and no one ever mentions it. Come on BBC, your job is to highlight these issues.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1416.

    @1413: Dan, that's a lovely story but it just illustrates how everyone's situation is different and how we face choices that we like or dislike due to economic circumstances.

    For every broken winged bird flying back to the nest, there's a young chick itching to get out that just can't because of a broken economy resulting from a long and treacherous Labour administration

  • rate this

    Comment number 1415.

    @1397.Lightmare "Careful with SocialistNetwork, he's a bit of a troll, he'll accuse you of being "self deluded" and "using the internet to argue" in a bit, always a chuckle."

    He's a lot of a troll actually. He cracks me up with his bitter and twisted envy - full of poison, thoroughly unpleasant individual.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1414.

    1412. Tio Terry
    I hate nobody
    Other than native poor.

    I employ immigrants because I find them far more reliable than incumbents.
    But you would design a system that would make it impossible for you to hire said immigrants as they would be unable to pay for housing

    I paid for my first property in 1980.
    Which might explain your desire to see property prices artificially high.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1413.

    I'm a 40 yo who houseshares with. mum after returning from the US 3 years ago after a divorce & health issues. Been a pleasure to spend time with & to get to know her better, as an adult. No jobs around here, so started my own business, live frugally (no booze or holidays) & saving up to move out again...'tis tough, though - rents are high & buying out of the question. Grateful for a roof & a bed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1412.

    Strange reply. I hate nobody, I employ immigrants because I find them far more reliable than incumbents. Inability to get on the housing ladder? I paid for my first property in 1980. The Family Trust owns many more properties, both in this country and in others. It also provides houses for children and grandchildren. More housing is not the answer for the UK, fewer people is.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1411.

    @1400 Tio Terry
    Answer my question. What are you going to do with millions of low paid UK citizens who rely on housing benefit to pay their rent? Your solution would throw millions onto the street. Do you even understand what I'm talking about, or do you read the Mail and Sun for your vision of UK life? Geez, It's a well known fact that right wing loons are dumb, but this dumb? It's scary.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1410.

    1406 Napoleon:
    The Tories encourage personal fiscal responsibility. E.g.: if you can't afford children, then don't have them! However, the Socialists will always follow the ridiculous dogma that 'all must be equal'. But the world & nature does not work that way.
    My remark on Socialists and Education was reference to Comprehensive Education: reduce everyone to the lowest standard = 'equality'!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1409.

    1405 - do explain why unemployment rates fall to a quarter of the size during periods of growth, when compared to recession, if people don't want to work?
    Better yet, perhaps you could explain to your employer why you think it's better to spend their money chasing millions instead of TRILLIONS (being the relative cost to the state of benefits to tax avoidance?

    ...but we have to *wait* to sack DC

  • rate this

    Comment number 1408.

    Usual standard of comments on here ..

  • rate this

    Comment number 1407.

    1400. Tio Terry
    So Emigration is the key to success.
    I know of at least one person I would want to emigrate.

    Tio your idea is frankly laughable, even Sally's anarchic society at least shows the signs of intellect, your idea shows nothing other than a hatred of immigrants and an inability to get on the housing ladder.

    More housing is the answer, not exporting the native poor.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1406.

    1399 said " And the decline in education is thanks to the Socialists."

    Let's leave out the closing of hundreds of state schools and the ideology of if you can afford it, you can educate it from the right wing fools. They even cancelled the school building upgrades. Maggie even cancelled the milk. Typical Tories, if they can save a penny they will even from our children.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1405.

    1403 "You begrudge the occasional takeaway?!" - we all know it's not the occasional takeaway.. no matter how much the lefties try to dress it up, some people just live bad lives off the state. "So what happens when they start to leave" - Labour's core vote will have to find new excuses for their shamefully parasitic existence?


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