PhotoMillennials aren’t anxious to leave the nest. In fact, a new study by the Pew Research Center finds that more millennials are currently living at home than in any other living arrangement.

Pew’s analysis concludes that this is the first time in American history that such a large percentage (32.1%) of young adults are living with mom and dad, rather than with a partner or roommates.

The force behind the change? According to Richard Fry at Pew, it’s primarily the fact that more millennials (defined as ages 18 to 34) are waiting to settle down romantically.

Since the 1880s, living with a romantic partner has been the most common living arrangement among young people. But with more millennials choosing to delay their walk down the aisle (often until closer to age 35), life with parents may be a more practical living arrangement.

Men more than women

Millennial men were found to be more likely to live with their parents than with a spouse or partner. About 35% are opting to stay with parents, while 28% are living with a romantic partner.  

The scales tip the other way for young women, albeit only slightly. Thirty-five percent of millennial women live with a significant other and 29% live with their parents.

Economic factors

Fry notes that changes in economic status may be partially responsible for the difference between men and women. While the percentage of young men employed in the workforce has decreased since the 1960s, the opposite is true for young women.

As job prospects for women improve, more young women are choosing to put off setting up a household with a romantic partner in favor of following a career path.

Other economic factors -- including student debt, the high cost of first-time homes, and slow wage growth in recent years -- may also be contributing to the cohort’s desire not to leave the nest as early as older generations.

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