A bunch of young Americans are living on their parents’ tab

Parents keep paying for their adult children — and the majority seem to be cool with it.

It feels good when your assumptions about the world are confirmed by cold, hard data. For instance:

financial independence
  • The majority of Americans (73%) only eat pizza with their hands — none of that fork and knife business.
  • Are pets part of the family? Sure thing, according to 97% of US pet owners.

We’ve got another one for you: If you’ve seen young Americans freely spend money and assumed they’re getting help from their parents, well, it’s more likely than not that they are, per Pew Research Center.

Yeah, duh

Parents providing financial backing for their adult kids is hardly a new or surprising concept, but the scale of that support jumps off the page:

  • The majority of under-30 Americans lack total financial independence from their parents. Just 16% of adults ages 18-24 are entirely off their parents’ payroll. That number goes up to 44% for those ages 25-29.
  • While most young adults (67%) achieve full independence by their early 30s, nearly one-third of adults ages 30-34 still receive parental help.
  • Household expenses, phone bills, and streaming subscriptions are the most common chip-ins. Despite the horror show that is rent and mortgage, only 17% of adults ages 18-34 get help making those payments.
  • That said, the number of young adults living with their parents has increased: 57% of American adults under age 25 share an address with a parent, up from 53% in 1993.

The “why” behind all of this isn’t hard to find. For starters, inflation has been extra painful for young Americans, and the housing market increasingly favors the old.

What are parents saying?

Fifty-nine percent of parents reported financially assisting their adult children over the past year — and many aren’t blinking much of an eye at it.

  • Of those parents, 64% said giving support did little or no damage to their own personal finances.

They think it’ll be temporary: 72% of parents believe their adult kids will cut the “financial umbilical cord” eventually.

It isn’t just a one-way street, BTW: Parents giving help is far more common, but 33% of adults ages 18-34 say they’ve financially supported their parents in the past year. (Only 14% of parents acknowledged receiving help, though. Hm.)

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