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Adult children living with parents in record numbers

By Barbara Neff

Many middle-aged people across the nation and in our community have adult children living with them. Some adult children have continuously lived with parents through childhood into adulthood. Most, however, left for work or school and eventually returned to the homes of their parents, usually for economic reasons.

According to a 2016 article by Bella DePaulo, PhD, “Why are so many adult children living with their parents?” (, the trend for young adults to either move back with mom and dad or to never have left is significant.

Stated DePaulo, “For the first time since 1880, one particular way of living is more popular among young adults than any other – living with their parents.”

DePaulo goes on to state that the reasons are, of course, partly economic. But, she sees more. She states that millennials are opting in record numbers to stay single, limiting their living arrangements. She also believes parents of millennials are more attached to their grown children than any past groups of parents. In other words, many parents of millennials want the kids at home.

When circumstances necessitate a move back with parents, the move can feel like failure. Many adults who live with parents believe moving home carries a stigma, and many parents feel the same. Rarely was the move back to mom’s house or dad’s house part of the plan. But, the move makes sense for many and, with adequate preparation, it can work.

Having the original family unit under one roof is not without challenges. Grown children are not minor children. What are the roles and rules?

Author Lauren Carrane offers insightful advice for families whose adult children are back in the homes of their parents in her article, “7 Tips for When Your Young Adult Children Move Back Home” ( As with most life situations, Carrane emphasizes the need for good communication, as well as the need for all members of the family to recognize that roles have changed.



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