Mothers & Their Millennials: Where Working-Age Millennials are Still Living with Mom

By Jamie Anderson on 5/4/2016  

More than one-in-five of the nation’s 24-to-34-year-olds won’t have far to travel on Mother’s Day this Sunday. Almost 10 million working-age millennials nationwide live with their moms, according to a Zillow analysis of American Community Survey data.[1]

The national rate of working-age millennials living with mom has climbed every year over the past decade, from 13.1 percent in 2005 to 21.4 percent in 2014 (figure 1). This uptick is tied to a combination of the current rental affordability crisis– particularly for lower-earning younger workers – and the weak economy many of these millennials graduated into, limiting their job options. In 2014, 14.1 percent of 24-to-34-year-olds living with their mom were unemployed, compared to just 6.1 percent of their peers not living with mom.


And given that first-time homebuyers rent longer than ever before, these boomerang kids probably won’t be buying their own place anytime soon. All 35 of the nation’s largest metros experienced a rise in millennials living with their mothers over this same time span.

Of the top 35 metros, Miami has the largest share of working-age millennials living at home. Columbus, Ohio, had the smallest share of 24-to34-year-olds living at home. Given Columbus’ reputation as a college town (no matter what people say), this may be unsurprising as students in the area remain in school a bit longer or take up graduate work, opting to live closer to school than at home.

Men are more likely to live at home than women— more than half (55 percent) of millennials living at home in 2014 were male. That gender ratio has been constant from year-to-year over the past decade.

At the national level, the growth in working-age millennials sharing a roof with their moms has been fairly stable across different races and ethnicities. But drilling down into specific metros reveals interesting trends (figure 2). In Miami, for example, the composition of working-age millennials living with their moms has shifted heavily towards black and Hispanic young adults. In Riverside, Calif., the share of Hispanic working-age adults living with mom has grown faster than any other group.