The world has been in a tailspin for the greater part of a year. Little by little new data is emerging, allowing us to paint an increasingly clear picture of how the pandemic has affected society. One of the more recent pieces of information was quietly released in September and tells the tale of a gargantuan shift in our living arrangements.

According to Pew Research, 52 per cent of American adults under the age of 30 are currently living with their parents. There are a few reasons for this, but the pandemic appears to be the leading cause.

That is the largest number of young adults living at home in U.S. recorded history. The previous high was in the 1930s during the Great Depression, when 48 per cent of young adults lived at home. While it’s believed more than half of young adults lived at home during the peak of the Great Depression, there is no recorded data for that period, Pew notes.

The findings jive with previous research suggesting that Gen Z workers have been among the hardest hit by pandemic-related layoffs. A survey by HR outsourcing firm Gusto found that between March and May of this year, Gen Z workers experienced a 93 per cent higher rate of layoffs than Millennials in the 35 and older group.

Lower-income employees were the most likely to lose their jobs at the start of the pandemic, with hourly workers who earned less than $20 per hour experiencing a 115 per cent higher rate of layoffs when compared to workers who made $30 or more per hour. 

According to Pew Research, about one-in-ten young adults (or 9 per cent) have relocated temporarily or permanently because of the outbreak. For those who did not return home, about 10 per cent had someone move in with them.

The main reasons respondents moved was because of college campus closures (23 per cent) or due to a job loss or for financial reasons(18 per cent).


White young adults have historically been less likely to live with their parents in comparison to Asian, Black, and/or Hispanic individuals, according to Pew Research. But the gap has narrowed since February, with white adults returning home at a higher rate than other racial and ethnic groups.

Per Pew Research:

“Whites accounted for about two-thirds (68 per cent) of the increase in young adults living with their parents. As of July, more than half of Hispanic (58 per cent) and Black (55 per cent) young adults now live with their parents, compared with about half of white (49 per cent) and Asian (51 per cent) young adults.”

Read more from Pew Research here.

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