Young Brits live with parents?

A quarter of young Britons are still living in the family home

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Should young Britons still live with their parents?

By Daniel J. McLaughlin

More and more young people have to stay or move back in to the family home in recent years.f

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), a quarter of young Britons were still living in the family home in 2018.

Some argue that this is not necessarily a bad thing, noting that there are challenges keeping young people out of the housing market.

However, a recent study claims that those who stay at home are more likely to experience depression.

The Claim

The latest figures from ONS ought not to cause any alarm, according to the Guardian's Mary Dejevsky.

She says that there are "many positive reasons" for young British people to stay on in the parental home.

Dejevsky notes that soaring prices and the shortage of affordable housing have "locked young people out of the housing market". Instead, they have to rely on high-priced private renting or stay at the family home.

She asks: "But is it really so bad if more people are delaying independent living because they are spending longer in education, or because they want to live a bit before settling down, or because their family home, in terms of support, creature comforts and cost, is actually quite an acceptable place to be?

"Perhaps there was a time, in the not too distant past, when young Britons were expected to fly the nest too soon."

The Counterclaim

However, young people who have to move back in with their parents are "more likely to experience depression", the Independent reports.

A study, published in the journal Society and Mental Health, found that young adults who lived independently were "less depressed and better off financially" than those who lived with their parents.

It also showed that they were more likely to be working or get married.

Jennifer Caputo, the researcher behind the study, said: "We know a lot about the reasons why young adults boomerang back to their parents’ homes, but there’s almost no research on how it affects their mental health.

"Economic and social independence are hallmarks of a successful transition to adulthood, and residential independence is highly valued. Not achieving these goals might create feelings of failure."

She adds: "My findings show that returning to a parental home after a period of independence can be depressing."

The Facts

Nearly a million more young adults in the UK are living with their parents compared to two decades ago.

Research from thinktank Civitas shows that a quarter of young people, aged 20 to 34, are still living with their parents.

The number of people living under the same roof as their mums and dads rose to 3.4 million in 2017 - up from 2.4 million young people in 1997.

The research also found that the number of 23-year-olds living with their parents has risen from 37 per cent in 1998 to nearly half (49 per cent) in 2017.

Young men are most likely to stay at home with almost a third living with their parents, compared to 20 per cent of young women, figures from ONS show.

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