This research by Loughborough University’s Centre for Research in Social Policy examines the situation of low to middle income households where young adults live with parents – a stage of life that is becoming the norm for a growing proportion of households in the UK. The research found:

  • Around 3.6 million young adults in the UK now live with their parents, including nearly two thirds of 20-34 year olds who are single without children.
  • Without a ‘bank of mum and dad’ to help them move out, young adults’ options are constrained by high housing costs and insecure employment and income, with situations exacerbated by the pandemic.
  • Single young adults are most likely to be living with their parents in their early 20s (71%), but a majority still live in their parents in their late 20s (54%), before a decline among those in their early 30s (33%).
  • Living together can provide mutual emotional and financial support. It helps young adults to save compared to living independently, but their financial contributions can also be vital in keeping parents afloat.
  • Tension around finances, lack of space and difficult relationships can cause pressure where families feel stuck, and talking about household finances can be hard.
  • Aspects of the social security system can add to challenges faced by low income families.
  • The final report draws on interviews with young adults and parents and consultation with stakeholders to explore the challenges, benefits and implications of living together and provides recommendations for policy and practice.

Final report