For the longest time, someone over the age of 18 who still lived with their parents was seen as a joke, considered a failure, treated as a lazy, good for nothing bum living on their parents’ dime in their parents’ basement. But today, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
While there is a sizeable amount of Millennials – those of us born between the years 1981 and 1996 – living with their parents, they’re not doing it because they’re lazy or a failure, or wanting to mooch off our parents. So, why are we doing it?
According to research conducted by the Pew Research Center, “As of 2016, 15% of 25- to 35-year-old Millennials were living in their parents’ home.”
The research, which pulled numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau, notes that this is five percentage points higher than the number of Generation Xers who lived in their parents’ home in 2000 when they were the same age (10%). The number of Millennials living at home is also nearly double the percentage of the Silent Generation who lived at home in 1964 (8%).
The Pew study also argues that a lack of jobs is not what’s keeping Millennials at home more so that any other generation. In fact, only 5.1% of older young adults were unemployed, down from 10.1% in the first quarter of 2010.
So if jobs aren’t the reason, what is?
One of the main reasons Millennials are “boomeranging” and moving back home is the fact that they can take a step back and plan more for major purchases – like a house – instead of jumping from apartment to apartment for years on end.
In a 2017 article in Curbed, Carolina Wong explained that after she graduated from Florida State University she decided to move back in with her parents to reboot, for a lack of better terms, and save up for a down payment on a house of her own.
The article states that like many her age, “Wong saw moving home as a route to more financial security in an increasingly insecure economic environment.”
“If you have somebody who’s willing to help you, don’t be embarrassed by it,” Wong said in the article. “I think it’s a smart decision if the help is there. There are a lot of people who don’t have that kind of help. It’s like a stepping stone; it’s not a permanent thing.”
In that same Curbed article, Dr. Nancy Worth, a researcher at the Universtiy of Waterloo, explained the perception of the Millennial as this lazy generation has changed over the years and instead more and more people are seeing the generation as smart and future-oriented.
“We don’t hear that stereotype of the lazy millennial discourse in the media like we did five or 10 years ago,” said Worth. “Now, you’re hearing how smart, strategic, and lucky young people are for staying home. It’s seen as the smart, strategic choice.”
Your average Millennial isn’t the only one crashing with their parents. No, even some of the most successful figureheads of the generation are staying with their parents.
Around the February 2018 release of Black Panther, CNBC reported that Michael B. Jordan still lived with his parents. However, there’s more to the story than just the star of one of the biggest movies of all time crashing in his parents’ basement.
“I love my parents, but we have a roommate relationship right now, which is interesting,” Jordan, 32, told Ellen DeGeneres on a recent segment of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
“You get home-cooked meals, but then you also have random trips to the kitchen in the middle of the night,” Jordan continued. “Just the random run-ins that just might be a little uncomfortable from time to time.”
CNBC reported that Jordan bought his parents the 4,672-square-foot, four-bedroom Spanish style mansion in Sherman Oaks, California in 2015 for $1.7 million.
Jordan isn’t the only celebrity to crash with his parents. In fact, Jennifer Lawrence, one of the highest paid actresses of our time, crashes with her parents.
“Ten million dollars and I’m still living in my parents’ condo,” Lawrence, now 28, told Elle magazine in 2012.
“I’ve always lived in a tiny rat-infested apartment in New York, or a little condo in L.A., or a normal house in Kentucky,” Lawrence explained. “I think it would be very bizarre to live in a big mansion by myself.”