Around one third of all U.S. millennials live with and rely financially on their parents, putting off adulthood milestones like marriage, having a child and home-buying, according to a new report from U.S. Census Bureau on Monday.
That’s a shift from four decades ago, when more Americans viewed marriage and child-rearing as gateways to adulthood, U.S. Census Bureau demographer Jonathan Vespa says.
Among younger Americans, women are much more likely to attain a college degree and a full-time job nowadays than they were in 1976.
Meanwhile, young men are only slightly more likely to have attained a higher education and slightly less likely to be employed, the report says.
The number of young Americans living independently of their parents stands at 40.7 percent, down more than 10 percentage points from a decade ago, according to the report
Today, more people between the ages of 18 and 34 live with their parents, 22.9 million, than live with a spouse, 19.9 million. In 1975, more than twice as many people in the same age group lived with a spouse (31.9 million) than with their parents (14.7 million).
Home ownership rates have plummeted, too: In 1975, almost 52 percent of those between 25 and 34 owned their own home. Today, just 28.8 percent do.
The percentage of both men and women who marry at a young age has fallen precipitously in recent years: In 1976, 85 percent of women and 75 percent of men had been married by age 29. Today, only 46 percent of women and 32 percent of men said they were married before they turned 30.
Overall, the number of men and women marrying by older ages has remained virtually unchanged. That shows the average American’s chances of getting married remain almost the same, though their chances of marrying while young are dramatically smaller.
“Young adults are not necessarily giving up on marriage. They are waiting longer,” Vespa wrote.
Data from the 2012 General Social Survey shows 62 percent of Americans believe completing formal schooling is an extremely important experience necessary to become an adult, and 50 percent say the same about landing a full-time job.
Only 12 percent say getting married is an extremely important step toward becoming an adult, and 10 percent say that about having a child, according to the report.