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Many Millennials Still Live With Their Parents Even After the Recovery

Throughout the recession, you probably heard the stories of “boomerang” young adults who returned home to live with their parents even after graduating from college. Many of these college grads “failed to launch,” because the job market was tough and rents were high.

But now we’re well into the economic recovery, and still a large share of millennials is living with their parents. And at least among the older millennials (those ages 25 to 34) the reasons could have more to do with lack of education, poor health and disabilities, rather than a weak economy, a Census demographer says.

About 24 million young adults – or one in three of all 18- to 34-year-olds – lived in their parents’ homes in 2015, a Census Bureau report released Wednesday shows. The vast majority are working toward a firmer footing, either by working, going to college, or both.

But among the older millennials who live with their parents, one in four are what the Census calls “idle,” meaning they don’t work and aren’t going to school. Who are these people? They’re more likely to be white and male than any other group. About 65% have a high school degree or less.

That said, they may not be idle for want of effort, writes the author of the report, Census demographer Jonathan Vespa. He notes that one-quarter of these people have a disability of some kind.

“Though often overlooked in these stories, young people’s health may play an important role in their decision to live with parents,” Vespa writes in the report.

“Living arrangements are more than just a matter of economics,” he adds. “They may be living at home because they need instrumental support or caregiving, factors that could affect their ability to work.”