Moving out of the parents’ home is one of the hallmarks of transition to adulthood. But what age is the most appropriate to move out?
The average age to move out of the parents’ house is 27 years old, although 80% of Millennials at this age not living with their parents (source). While various factors hasten the decision to move out, the biggest among them is earnings. Most return home when the economic conditions worsen.
In the following paragraphs, we discuss the average age to move out of your parents and the related factors.
Moving Out of Your Parents’ Home
You’re not alone if you’re wondering what age you should move out and get your own residence. After college, many people move back home to pay off their student loans and save enough to make the giant leap to their place.
Most people consider the age of 26 and 27 as the ideal time to move out, but that’s not always the case. Age most often serves as a guideline. Several factors determine whether you are ready or not.
8 Factors Determining the Age People Move Out of Their Parents’ House
Decisions to move out of the parents’ house depend mainly on macroeconomic factors and particular economic variables, augmented by social norms and personal preferences. How much you can raise as rent or mortgage often determines whether you are ready or not.
It also depends on the social norms of the society or community you live in and what you prefer. Is it common for families in your community to live together, and if you had the choice, would you choose to live with your parents for longer?
1. Macroeconomic Factors
As it turns out, the majority of the young people have no income to support life on their own. The number of financially secure young people aged 22 years and younger dropped to 24% this year from 34% in 1980. But does that mean the situation is worse than decades ago to support moving out? Not exactly!
Several factors contribute to the falling figures. These factors include the gig economy, lackluster job market, and student loans.
Many young people are finding themselves heavy in debt at the same age their grandparents were moving out, and living with parents is the most logical thing to reduce expenses, make savings and pay off student loans.
If your parents are wealthy, you may want to move out earlier because you have the resources to do so. The actions of wealthy parents, such as transferring a sizable amount to the child’s account, may encourage young people to move out.
Research in China and the Netherlands shows that young people are eager to leave home earlier when their parents have a large share of property, income, or other transferable assets. The motivation to move out may also come from the desire to find better opportunities elsewhere.
If you are from a resource-strained household, you may leave home searching for a better life. You’re more likely to delay the decision when you are from a wealthy family.
Wealthier families are less likely to experience financial-based conflicts, and this alone is a significant factor. They are more likely to participate in fun activities such as going on holidays as a family. A better quality of life shifts their focus to personal growth and other important things. There is no worry about constrained resources, and when they are going to get their next meal.
Getting a job and having a higher earning potential is motivation enough to move out for those who crave independence. However, when their earning potential diminishes, they may decide to return to their parent’s house. Other factors such as rising house prices and high cost of living are significant. People tend to go home when they can’t afford to live independently.
While economic conditions may affect the decision to move out, other factors also play a role, such as a college or education.
Many college students stay at home to keep the costs at a minimum as they study. The students depend on their parents for sustenance and will often not have enough to live independently. Others look to save money so that they have enough to start on their own when they finally graduate college.
Likewise, young people who are not in school are likely to move out of their parents’ place earlier than those in college. As opposed to college students, nothing is holding them back, and perhaps they want to search for opportunities. If your parents couldn’t afford college, you will want to prove yourself out there. Additionally, going on the search for job opportunities often means leaving the area you grew up in.
3. Parental Attitudes
Most trends experts point the finger at economics for the growing number of adults living in their parents’ homes. However, there is also a small group that believes values have a lot to do with it.
Unlike in the past, parents are happier to be in their kids’ lives and don’t mind having them around at home.
4. Social Norms
For a long time, leaving home and maintaining independence have been the hallmarks of adulthood in many societies. For instance, in Italy and Germany, moving out of a parent’s residence is the best indicator of financial and economic autonomy. That means the economic resources an individual has access to play a significant role in their decision-making to move out.
For some communities, intergenerational living is the norm, and people at any age don’t mind staying with their parents and other extended family members.
Research shows that up to 50% of people between 18 and 34 live with their parents in Europe and the percentage goes even higher in eastern and southern Europe. Other places such as Australia have 29% of people between 18 and 34 years living with their parents, and 48.9% of people in the same age group in Japan.
5. Socio-Demographic Characteristics
Home-leaving also depends on socio-demographic characteristics such as gender. Young females leave home later than their male counterparts, and several factors support this behavior. Cultural norms are among the most prevalent.
Certainly, most cultures expect male children to seek residential independence earlier than females. Young women often leave their parents’ home after marriage or upon achieving professional and career success.
In some societies such as sub-Saharan Africa, girls have less autonomy, so they may stay under the watchful eye of their parents for much longer. As a result, parents may be less willing to allow their daughters the freedom to seek residential independence than their sons.
6. Personal Responsibility
Personal responsibility is critical to thriving away from the parents. Unfortunately, many young people can’t do some things without their parents giving them a hand. As much as 55% of adults admitted that parents do a lot for their grown-up children. More and more, parents are providing financial assistance and trying to solve the problems of their grown children, who often depend on them to do so.
Considering the growing role parents play in their children’s lives, young people now have a different perspective compared to the older generations. Up to 65% of adults believe their parents are doing just enough for them.
7. Changing Attitudes Towards Homeownership, Marriage, and Parenthood
Acquiring a house and starting a family at a young age were markers of success for most societies. However, this perspective is changing, and the current younger generation is in no hurry to settle down. They are hesitant to take on a mortgage, and the idea of marriage and kids (especially in their youth) is not as appealing as before.
Over the last few decades, marriage rates have been going down, and people are delaying having kids. In 1980, married couples aged 18-29 were 42%. That rate went down to 18%. Similarly, in 1980, only 57% reported not having kids, while the percentage is at 70% today. Research shows that most people are waiting until their 30s to have kids.
People are waiting much longer to have kids because they are spending too much time in school. The number of young women in college is 44% compared to 25% in 1980.
8. Life Events
Usually, events in life such as marriage and having children increase the likelihood of moving out for young people. It is unlikely for married couples to live in the same house with in-laws because of cultural norms and traditions.
Perhaps some communities, such as Asian countries, support intergenerational living, where extended family members live together. Most other communities prefer married couples living independently, regardless of their age.
Sexual experience is another motivation for leaving home. Sexually active youth will seek greater privacy and freedom. They move out to stay away from the curious eyes of their parents and siblings to engage in sex freely.
While the average age to move out of the parent’s house is 27 years, more people are going back after college to prepare financially and personally. They take the plunge into independence later on when they have better success in the job market and less debt burden.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Independence for young millennials: moving out and boomeranging back
- National Center for Biology Information: Adolescent home-leaving and the transition to adulthood
- Market Watch: This is the age when it officially becomes too embarrassing to live with your parents
- Pew Research Center: In the U.S. and Abroad, More Young Adults Are Living With Their Parents