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 704.

    You may think that UK emissions targets has nothing to do with UK housebuilding, but you would be wrong.

    Planning in UK is also restricted by emissions creation.

    It has long been government policy, Liebour as well, to reduce single home occupancy, due to limited UK land & also emissions targets.

    Created build & useage emissions from single occupier far greater than multiple occupancy

  • rate this

    Comment number 703.

    Successive governments have played to property owners; new housing has not been built in anywhere near sufficient numbers, seemingly to deliberately inflate the value of the properties that do exist.

    The latest 'help to buy' scheme is another way of inflating prices.

    It's the 'haves' protecting their 'own'/their own interests, while blaming others for not being in the same position as them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 702.


    Its not that,its just the longer you live them more you have been shafted ! could you imagine how hard they have been shafted over the 3o years with Labour in power ripping then off enough to make a cat-sick.. well done you by the way. but stick around you will become just as cynical one you have had your shafting

  • rate this

    Comment number 701.

    The BBC report this as if we should be surprised. Young people don't have a choice BUT to stay with parents - exorbitant tuition fees and deteriorating standards of living force them to. Society would rip them apart if they decided to do otherwise.

  • rate this

    Comment number 700.

    Not a hint re paying parents for board and lodging, only saving for a deposit! I wonder how many expect and get away living off their parents. They have no incentive to move out just an excuse to explain why they don't do something for themselves. Rents ARE high and controlled rents wont feature in the Tory manifesto their are too many of them renting out property.

  • rate this

    Comment number 699.


    You are allowed to buy a small doesn't have to be a 4 bed detached. You say you can't afford to buy but you are wasting money buy renting...dead money.

    My advice to all first time buyers, get a small fixer upper and get on the ladder.

    Can't speak for other parts of the country but terraced property in some parts of my city sells for as little as £50,000.

  • rate this

    Comment number 698.

    I am 29 and live at home with my mum. I am doing a PhD and moved back when the funding ran out. My 29 year old brother lived at home between University and getting a new job.

    The family home is the safe haven for when we can't afford to rent our own places ! When my degree is finished and i secure employment i will move out again !

  • rate this

    Comment number 697.

    Never really got the fascination with owning a house. Some people obsess over it, Some make themselves ill trying to aspire to it.

    We all end up in the grave. What good are your property deeds there? In the meantime, I'll rent - its less hassle, which leaves me free to worry about more important things. Like eating. Will never be in debt to a banker. Fact.

  • rate this

    Comment number 696.

    I wonder how many families (also) look after ageing parents.

  • rate this

    Comment number 695.

    My Mum lives in the Midlands and my old man in OZ. A brother in Europe and 2 sisters up North. I live in the South East. We all own are homes! Just saying if you are prepared to seek the opportunities they are there. I will sell my house in a few years and move to the coast where I can still get to work easy and yet the same size house will be less then half of mine. Its not rocket science folks.

  • rate this

    Comment number 694.

    Of course I'll get a place of my own very soon, mum and dad. Now hurry up and eat your mushrooms.

  • rate this

    Comment number 693.

    I have 25 year old twins still living at home. The man has never left, the woman went to Uni. came home, got a job and moved out, lost the job and moved back, now has a minimum wage job close to home, as has her brother (they work for the same company but not in the same job). I can't see how they will ever afford to move out.

  • rate this

    Comment number 692.

    We don't have a house shortage in England, there is just too many people coming over here from abroard. It makes sence to stay at home until you have perhaps saved some money.

  • rate this

    Comment number 691.

    Seems that degree in 'media studies' didn't get you that top job you were hoping for then ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 690.

    You would have thought one of the basic jobs of Government was ensuring housing availability at affordable prices for the citizens it purports to rule over.

    NOT allowing a basic commodity like housing to become a greed-driven exercise in speculation & accumulation for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many.

    It's so basic, it almost hurts to think that politicians could be so stupid.

  • rate this

    Comment number 689.

    I used to let a 5 bedroom house out to this demographic until the local council insisted that it had a sprinkler system and other utterly unaffordable and ridiculous changes. I sold the house. If replicated elsewhere is it not surprising that there is less affordable housing (to rent). Thank Labour councils for helping you.

  • rate this

    Comment number 688.

    "I recently worked out that today's student is 4% better off than when I graduated - including taking repayment of the student loan into account"

    Please show your workings.

  • rate this

    Comment number 687.

    "Blame Low Wages!"
    Wages aren't low, they're high!

    According to the ONS, average annual incomes of 22-29yr olds are £21,424. In 1913/14 they were only £219.30. Today's wages are 10x what they were.

    So, what happened since 1913/14? We left the Classical Gold Standard, so politicians could increasingly deliver vote winning socialism, only possible by debasing your savings (robbing you).

  • rate this

    Comment number 686.

    Renting prevents buying. How can anyone save for a deposit when they are paying more rent than the mortgage payments would be on a property twice the size. Staying at home means that funds can be saved and deposits built up.

  • rate this

    Comment number 685.

    In the 1,800s T.Malthus wrote: "The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man."

    The UK population is now 6 times larger, but we enjoy a far better living standard than they did back then.

    Overpopulation is a concern, but immigration isn't the imminent threat that the latest angry mob is making out. We'll cope, just as we always have.


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