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2006 Census: Family portrait: Continuity and change in Canadian families and households in 2006: National portrait: Individuals

More young adults aged 20 to 29 living in the parental home

Over the last two decades, one of the trends for young adults has been their growing tendency to remain in, or return to, the parental home. This trend has continued during the past five years.

In 2006, 43.5% of the 4.0 million young adults aged 20 to 29 either stayed in the parental home or moved back in, up from 41.1% in 2001. Twenty years ago, 32.1% of young adults lived in the parental home.

Among individuals aged 20 to 24, 60.3% were in the parental home in 2006, up from 49.3% in 1986. Among those aged 25 to 29, 26.0% were in the parental home in 2006, up from 15.6% two decades earlier.

Figure 15 More young adults in their twenties live in the parental home in 2006

Young adults could remain or return to the parental home for reasons such as school attendance, financial difficulties, lack of job opportunities or cost of living in a particular area. It could also be a response to a break-up in a relationship, lower expectations about establishing an independent household, or other perceived benefits.1

Few adult children living with their parents were also accompanied by a spouse or partner. In cases where this did occur, it was more likely for adult children in their late twenties and, in particular, for young women. More than one in 10 young women in their late twenties (11.3%) who lived in the parental home in 2006 lived with a spouse or partner, as did 7.5% of young men. Living at home as part of a couple was much less common for young adults aged 20 to 24. Only 3.2% of women and 1.6% of men did so.

In terms of family structure, lone-parent families were far more likely to have older children at home than other family structures. More than one in five lone-parent families (22.2%) had children all at home aged 25 and over in 2006, compared to 10.6% of married-couple families and 2.4% of common-law-couple families. This is an increase from 1986 when the figures were 16.8%, 5.0% and 1.1%, respectively. In such situations where there are older children in the home, exchanges of care and support could flow in either direction between generations.

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