Housing prices and debt push millennials to live with their parents

Thursday, September 28, 2017

High housing prices, debt, and job instability have led to an increasing number of millennials to live at home, according to a new report from the University of Waterloo.

The report, GenY at Home, was released today and builds on recent census data findings that show 47.4 per cent of millennials, also known as GenY, in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) live with their parents.

In addition to highlighting major reasons young people live at home, it also found that multiculturalism, relief from isolation and mutual support are eroding the stereotype that living with your parents is a bad thing.

“Most young adults living at home do so primarily for economic reasons, with 79.2 per cent of young adults living with parents to save money,” said Nancy Worth, the report’s author and geography professor at Waterloo. “In the face of precarious work and widespread economic insecurity, parental help offers a chance to save for a house or take on an unpaid internship, which gives people living at home an advantage over those who are living on their own.”

The report found that culture and family also play a significant role in young people staying or ‘boomeranging’ home and that many young people in the GTA come from cultural traditions where adult children living at home is nothing new.

For some, according to the report, co-residence is just about sharing physical space, while for others living with parents means actively being part of a close intergenerational family, sharing domestic work and spending time together.

“Whether you boomerang home for a few months after you finish school or between jobs, or you stay at home to save money or be with your family, living with parents into your late twenties or early thirties has become a new normal for young adults in the GTA,” said Worth who is a member of Waterloo’s Faculty of Environment.  “As we increasingly recognize the challenges of insecure work and high housing costs, living at home is more often seen as smart, strategic and lucky, as not everyone has this opportunity”.

According to the report, co-residence with parents can be part of a wider transfer of resources from one generation to the next and living at home can be an effective safety net, mitigating risk and setting some young adults ahead of their peers.

About the University of Waterloo

University of Waterloo is Canada’s top innovation university. With more than 36,000 students we are home to the world's largest co-operative education system of its kind. Our unmatched entrepreneurial culture, combined with an intensive focus on research, powers one of the top innovation hubs in the world. Find out more at uwaterloo.ca

Media Contact

Matthew Grant
University of Waterloo

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