Millennials are in no hurry to move out, grow up, or tackle the real world. That seems to be the conclusion of a new report from the Census Bureau which examines the changing attitudes and behaviors of adults between 18 and 34 between 1975 and 2016. Among the findings: 1 in 3 young Americans now live with parents, and more young adults now live with parents than with a spouse, a reversal of the figures from 1975. Among the four "milestones of adulthood"--getting married, having children, getting a job and living on your own--only 24% of young adults had achieved all four in 2016, down from 45% in 1975.
Research showing Millennials unhappy with their lot in life is nothing new, and it's not like they don't have a lot of excuses for it. "We have all this college debt, times have been tough, we had this great recession, so don't rush to get married, don't rush to get a home, don't do all these things," says Jason Dorsey, Millennials researcher and expert. He tells KTRH that the weak economy of the past decade has played a major role in the trend of young people waiting longer to move out, marry or buy a home. "We have all these Millennials who entered the workforce during the Great Recession, and the result is they can't buy a home if they wanted to, and it has kind of created this perfect storm where we're delaying every single major gateway marker to adulthood," says Dorsey.
He does have a point about the debt load of young people. The study shows that the total student debt by young adults has nearly tripled since 1989.
However, the economy isn't the only thing to blame for the trend in young people staying home longer. Dorsey believes parents bear much of the responsibility. "Instead of cutting them off, kicking them out, making them transition out and all these kinds of things, we're seeing Baby Boomer parents saying we want it to be easier for our children than it was for us," says Dorsey. "So when there's no urgency, no penalty, no real repercussion, than there's no rush to get out on your own and do these adult things."