More millennials staying home with parents, relatives

FLORENCE, Ala. — Many young women are living with their parents while attending college rather than face high living expenses, according to a recent study.

A Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data found 36.4 percent of women ages of 18-34 lived with parents or relatives in 2014. That is the most since at least 1940, when 36.2 percent lived with family.

Town Creek resident Kimberly Parker, 19, has seen the benefit of staying home.

"At the moment, I don't really have an incentive to move out," said Parker, a sophomore studying business management at the University of North Alabama. "My parents feed me; they make sure there's a roof over my head and I don't really pay any bills right now. "

Parker's mother, who also attended the same university, said save money through carpooling as well.


"I let my kids live at home as long as you can live at home," said the 46-year-old mother of three who decided to go back to college in 2014. "They still have the freedom of being an adult. But they don't have rent, utilities or any other bills that come with living on your own."

Young women and men began staying home or returning there at a more rapid rate after 2000. It's a trend that sharply increased with the economic uncertainty brought on by the housing collapse and recession in the late 2000s.

Kimberly Parker said staying at home not only helps financially but also provides a safety net for young millennials who are stepping into adulthood.

"My sister had her own place and her own bills to pay, but she struggled," Kimberly said. "I think more people are staying home because they have the opportunity to become adults while still having that security of having your parents."

Decatur resident Karen Smith said her daughter, Dare, 27, left home for Huntsville after previously moving back in with her parents.

"She was trying to figure things out, and coming back home gave her a safe place to do that," Smith said. "My younger daughter, Lynne, is living on campus at (the University of Montevallo). She comes and goes, but this is still her primary residence."

Kimberly Parker said she has considered moving out during her last couple of college years to be closer to UNA's campus.

"It's not a huge issue because my parents aren't sheltering me, or forcing me to stay or move out. I could stay, or I could go," she said.

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