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Citation Information

Type Report
Title Economic conditions and the living arrangements of young adults
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2007
URL http://transitions.s410.sureserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/matsudaira.pdf
Abstract
In the past several decades, the transition of young adults from living with their parents to
achieving economic independence and establishing their own families has become an
increasingly long and varied process. A striking aspect of this demographic change has been the
increased prevalence of 20-somethings living in their parental home. Between 1960 and 2000,
for example, the fraction of 24 year-olds living at home rose from 22 to 28 percent for men, and
from 14 to 23 percent for women.
1 At the same time, young adults are marrying and establishing
their own households at later ages than was true in their parent’s generation. What is responsible
for these demographic changes? Many popular and scholarly accounts have questioned the
character of Generation Y and their willingness to accept adult responsibility.
2 While not
denying this possibility, this paper instead investigates whether changes in the labor market and
economic conditions have made it more difficult to transition to adulthood.
Establishing residential independence is an increasingly costly proposition for young
adults. As Yelowitz (Chapter XX) documents, housing costs have risen in many areas of the
country, and higher costs of college tuition combined with older ages of college completion make
it increasingly difficult for twenty- and thirty-somethings to afford to live independently (see
Turner, Chapter YY).

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