What has changed, instead, is the relative share adopting different ways of living in early adulthood, with the decline of romantic coupling pushing living at home to the top of a much less uniform list of living arrangements.
Among young adults, living arrangements differ significantly by gender.
It’s worth noting that the overall share of young adults living with their parents was not at a record high in 2014.
This arrangement peaked around 1940, when about 35% of the nation’s 18- to 34-year-olds lived with mom and/or dad (compared with 32% in 2014).
The median age of first marriage has risen steadily for decades.
In addition, a growing share of young adults may be eschewing marriage altogether.
For women, delayed marriage—which is related, in part, to labor market outcomes for men—may explain more of the increase in their living in the family home.
The Great Recession (and modest recovery) has also been associated with an increase in young adults living at home.
In addition, trends in both employment status and wages have likely contributed to the growing share of young adults who are living in the home of their parent(s), and this is especially true of young men.
Employed young men are much less likely to live at home than young men without a job, and employment among young men has fallen significantly in recent decades.
Beyond gender, young adults’ living arrangements differ considerably by education and racial and ethnic background—both of which are tied to economic wherewithal.
For young adults without a bachelor’s degree, as of 2008 living at home with their parents was more prevalent than living with a romantic partner.
This is mainly because women are more likely than men to be single parents living with their children.