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More young women are living at home than in past 75 years, study says
At no time since the 1940s have this many young women lived with their parents or other relatives, according to a new report from Pew Research Center. Young men are living with folks, too, but not at historic-high levels. - photo by Lois M Collins
At no time since 1940 have so many young women lived with their parents or other relatives than they do today, primarily because of economic forces, according to a new report from Pew Research Center.

Using U.S. Census Bureau data, Pew found 36.4 percent of women ages 18 to 34 lived with relatives primarily parents in 2014, not including a spouse. In 1940, the number was 36.2 percent, creating what Pew calls a "striking U-shaped curve."

"Young men, too, are increasingly living in the same situation, but unlike women their share hasnt climbed to its level from 1940, the highest year on record. (Comparable data on living arrangements are not available from before then)," Pew said.

The Associated Press quoted Pew senior economist Richard Fry, saying, "young women are staying home now because they are half as likely to be married as they were in 1940 and much more likely to be college-educated. Economic forces such as increasing student debt, higher living costs and economic uncertainty are also playing a role."

The New York Times noted that "rents in some cities have become so high as to be unmanageable for many young adults, especially those with heavy student debt."

The Times wrote about a 21-year-old Fordham senior, Rachel Franchi-Pereira, who said she saw living at home "as an in-between phase, allowing her to remain in her comfort zone until she had a job and was ready to strike out on her own. 'In my head, I see myself as an adult, she said, but I dont know what kind of job I really want, I dont know how to get an apartment, I dont have to buy the toilet paper, and thats what being adult is, she said.

Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, explained to MarketWatch's Maria LaMagna that higher education or advanced training is a prerequisite for many jobs today. Weve essentially added a new phase to the life cycle for both men and women, Carnevale said, making the transition to independent adulthood further away, even for college graduates.

"In the past, especially in the 1970s when there were more jobs available doing industrial, clerical, manufacturing and retail work, it was easier for young people to become independent more quickly," LaMagna wrote.

An adult child moving back home can create conflict. But open communication and understanding by both parents and child can prevent or resolve most disputes, Deseret News National reported earlier this year.

Everyone knows that this is likely a situation thats not going to last forever, so its essential to be really clear about everyones expectations, said Christina Newberry, founder of, a website geared to helping parents and grown children cohabitate more successfully. Its important to talk about things in advance; if something isnt happening according to schedule, why not? Its less likely that things will come to a tipping point if everyone continues to communicate.
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