The economy in the United States has been tough on families, with inflation and lack of opportunities making it hard for young adults to make ends meet. A recent report by the Pew Research Center found that 44% of young adults aged 18 to 34 received financial help from their parents in the past year. This help often went towards household expenses and cell phone bills or streaming services.
The study surveyed 3,017 adults with at least one child between the ages of 18 and 34, as well as 1,495 young adults aged 18 to 34 with at least one living parent. The research revealed that about a third of young adults still live with their parents, a higher percentage than 34 years ago. However, many of these young adults contribute financially to their parents’ households.
The study also found that parents and young adult children living together had a positive impact on their relationships. While 74% of parents said living with their young adult child had a positive impact, only 55% of young adults felt the same way. Additionally, 41% of parents said their young adult children depended on them for emotional support.
The researchers noted that changing social dynamics have led young adults to reach key milestones later in life, such as marriage and parenthood. Marriage rates among young adults have declined significantly, with only 29% of young adults aged 25 to 29 being married in 2023, down from 50% in 1993. Similarly, young adults are delaying having children, with only 27% of adults aged 30 to 34 having a child in their home in 2023, compared to 60% three decades ago.
While young adults today are more likely to work full time compared to their parents’ generation, they are also more likely to have outstanding debt. The percentage of young adults with loans has increased significantly since the early 1990s, with 43% of 25- to 29-year-olds having loans in 2022, up from 28% in 1992.
The research also evaluated how well parents prepared their children for adult life. Most parents said that their young adult children’s successes and failures reflect the work they have done as parents. Fathers were more likely than mothers to say this.
Overall, the study highlights the challenges young adults face in today’s economy and the ways in which parents continue to support their children well into adulthood.
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