“Failure to Launch” (2006) was a popular movie, perhaps because it tells a familiar story. Starring Matthew McConaughey, Sarah Jessica Parker and football legend Terry Bradshaw, it is about a 35-year-old who will not leave his parents’ home. McConaughey plays the son. He does not have financial problems. Living with his parents is just too comfortable for him to move on.
In the real world, adult children often do move back to live with their parents. In many cases, it is because of financial burdens. College loans get too expensive. Jobs for those just out of college do not pay enough.
Like many social and demographic trends, figures about adults who live at home are not uniform across the country. 24/7 Tempo has identified the state where the most adults live with their parents by reviewing data on age and household composition from the U.S. Census Bureau’s February 2022 Current Population Survey. States were ranked based on the percentage of 18- to 34-year-olds who were living with at least one biological, step- or adoptive parent as of February 2022. Data on the percentage of 18- to 34-year-olds who live with their spouse came from the same source.
Supplemental data on the January 2022 unemployment rate for all age groups came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and is seasonally adjusted. Data on the median home value of occupied housing units came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey and are five-year estimates.
Maryland topped our list, with almost half of the state’s 18- to 34-year-olds living with their parents. Two obvious factors contribute to this situation: Maryland has relatively high home values, as well as the nation’s fourth-highest unemployment rate, at 5.4%. Neighboring Delaware and nearby New Jersey followed, with 45.8% and 45.1% of adults living with parents, respectively. Both states also have expensive real estate, so it looks like a regional issue.
A regional pattern is evident at the other end of our list, too. In South Dakota, only 17.6% of adults live with their parents. Montana and North Dakota follow, as the figures there are 19.7% and 20.2%, respectively. These and other states in the Midwest and west are characterized by fairly robust economies with low unemployment and relatively low home values.
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