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 825.

    It is not a shame to live with your parents, nevertheless both Labour and the Conservatives have failed to build the houses we needed since the early 1980's, the council houses were sold off and not replaced, and buying a house in your late 20's on a single income, as our parents did is not possible.

  • rate this

    Comment number 796.

    Its good to stay with your parents, you can save money for your home. Some people will laugh on you n make a micky out of you coz you are over 18 and still living with parents but just ignore them, they have nothing else in their life except just laugh on others.

    lots of people in asia n africa live in house together as a family. only few western countries got problem with that.

  • 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 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 576.

    My kids are welcome to come back home anytime, its great having them around, I think they used to call it an extended family.

    I started… shared a flat, rented a flat, shared a house, late 30s bought a wreck and did it up.


Comments 5 of 11


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