Empty nest an elusive idea for parents of some millenials

Employment challenges and changing views on marriage are creating a failure to launch


I have a favored saying that goes, “how can I start missing you if you won’t leave?”

I can only imagine that something similar is going in the in minds of a number of parents of millenials.  According to an article in today’s Washington Post, the number of 18-34 year-olds still living with their parents is at its highest point since World War II.

In looking across all racial lines,  35 percent of men and 29 percent of women in this age range had not left the nest. Researchers with Pew, who conducted this study, say two factors are contributing to this dynamic:

  1. Changing views on marriage:   Researchers say that they number of Americans getting married before the age of 35 has shrunk significantly.  In fact, just 31.6 percent of 18-34 were married or living with a partner versus 32.1 percent still living at home.
  2. Shrinking job market: Whether it be the lack of viable jobs or lower wages associated with many jobs, millenials are finding that they either can’t afford to live on their own or the options they can afford are less appealing than the amenities offered in their parents’ homes.

What all this could mean is that things aren’t necessarily looking more promising for those of us in the “sandwich generation”, who might be finding ourselves dealing with helping aging parents while, at the same time, having our kids at home for a period much longer than we expected.

Written by JP Smith

A self-proclaimed "technologist...with attitude", I'm a forty-something husband, father and IT professional/enthusiast. I believe that learning and growth are lifelong endeavors.