Which Adult Children Move Home the Most?

May 14, 2018

More adult children are living with their parents, but the trend is more prevalent among certain races, new research finds. The research focuses those who were 21- to 24-year-olds between 2001 and 2013 and examines why they chose to move back home with their parents. Black and white adult children increasingly are choosing to move back home with their parents. 

Young black adults tended to move back home due to the high costs of rent. For white adult children, they tend to move back home to better their chances of getting a job, according to the study released by researchers at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Connecticut. 

A 10 percent increase in average monthly rent among young black adults was correlated to a nearly 4 percent decrease in the likelihood that they would live on their own, according to the study. For young white adults, an uptick in rents was associated with less than a 1 percent decline in that they’d move out. However, for white adults, a 1 percent decrease in the employment rate was associated with a 1 percent decline in the likelihood that they’d live on their own. On the other hand, a decline in the employment rate among young black adults essentially had no effect on whether they formed their own households or not. 

“When we read popular reports about what is happening to young people today, usually they are in the aggregate,” Sandra Newman, an author of the study and a public policy professor at Johns Hopkins, told MarketWatch. “What this paper shows is that when you aggregate, you’re not getting the distinct differences.”

Researchers say that the study’s findings could have implications for policymakers who are looking to address the economic health of young adults. Newman says that helping black and white young adults form their own households will take more than just improving the economy.

“There’s often the argument that a rising tide lifts all boats, as if somehow having a better economy would help all of us,” Scott Holupka, one of the authors of the study, told MarketWatch. “But our research suggests that is not the case.”

Source: “Black and White Adult Children Are Moving Back Home, But for Different Reasons,” MarketWatch (May 8, 2018)