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Sharp rise in younger people still living at home with their parents

The difficulty of getting on to the housing ladder has been laid bare by new research that shows almost a million more young adults are still living at home with their parents than in the 1990s.

Think-tank Civitas analysed data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to conclude that an additional 900,000 people in the 20-34 age group were living with their parents in 2017 compared to 1997.

In percentage terms, it means 19 percent of people in that age bracket lived at home in 1997, rising to 26 percent in 2017.

For 23-year-olds, the rise has been greater, going from 37 percent of that age to 49 percent across two decades.

Biggest household change within London

According to Civitas, the reasons for the changes vary from region to region within the UK, with London showing the greatest increase in younger people continuing to live at home with their parents. That reflects the greater rise in housing costs in the capital, compared to some of the more affordable parts of the UK.

Civitas also noted that there’s a “collapse in single living” as those young people who do leave the family will generally live with a partner, with friends or in a flat/house share.

The Civitas research analysed average household sizes in data collected by the ONS over long periods of time. In 1951, there was an average of 3.3 people per UK household, falling to just 2.36 in 2001.

By 2017, that figure had risen to 2.39 per house.

Finding it difficult to move out

Daniel Bentley of Civitas said: “The data is bearing out what we feel anecdotally to be the case. Younger people are beginning to live with their parents for longer and are finding it more difficult to move out.

“If they do move out, they’re often living with larger groups of people.”

He said the effect of this will be reflected in housing supply in the future because housebuilding targets set by the government are based on ONS data and projections of how households will be formed in the future.

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