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Millenials live with parents longer in Toronto: new study “Gen Y at Home” from University of Waterloo gives reasons for Census data

Why do 47.1 % of millennials in the GTA still live with their parents — 13% more than the already-high National average? [As reported previously in>>] According to a new study from the University of Waterloo, GenY at Home, the main reasons are housing prices, debt and job instability. Although these aren’t big surprises, the data insights are helpful in understanding this higher-than-average proportion specific to the GTA. The study data indicate that these young adults still plan to leave the nest and are in “saving” mode. [Download the full report as PDF>>]

“Most young adults living at home do so primarily for economic reasons, with 79.2 per cent of young adults living with parents to save money,” said Nancy Worth, the report’s author and geography professor at Waterloo. “In the face of precarious work and widespread economic insecurity, parental help offers a chance to save for a house or take on an unpaid internship, which gives people living at home an advantage over those who are living on their own.”



Significantly, 25.1% in the study are actually currently looking for an independent home away from the parent nest, and another 34.6% would “like to” look for their own home. Among the reasons cited for not moving out:

  • 79.2% are living at home while “saving money”
  • 42.1% cannot afford rent outside the home (but may contribute to costs in the nest)
  • 12.1% are caregiving their parents
  • 25.1% are looking for work.


It is common for adult children to live at home until they are married (and sometimes after) in some South Asian cultures.


“Whether you boomerang home for a few months after you finish school or between jobs, or you stay at home to save money or be with your family, living with parents into your late twenties or early thirties has become a new normal for young adults in the GTA,” said Worth who is a member of Waterloo’s Faculty of Environment.  “As we increasingly recognize the challenges of insecure work and high housing costs, living at home is more often seen as smart, strategic and lucky, as not everyone has this opportunity”.


Cultural aspects: adult children at home normal for some cultures

It would be odd, rather than normal, in some cultures, for adult children — who are not married — to live outside the parent nest. According to the report authors:

“Believing in traditional values like staying at home until marriage or living with a spouse’s parent after marriage were some of the reasons interviewees gave for remaining home. Living at home was common (and often expected) in the South Asian community of the GTA.”

Also, interesting, more young men live with parents as compared to young women: For those aged 20 to 34 in 2016, 5 men for every 4 women lived with parents (Statistics Canada 2017a, c). This is a trend among both younger and older members of GenY. In 2011, 64% of men and 55% of women aged 20 to 24 lived with parents. In that same time period, 29% of men and 20% of women aged 25-29 coresided with parents. (Statistics Canada 2016b).


Also cited in the report: 12.1% of adult children who live with parents claim they are primarily there to care-give their ageing parents.


The financial focus

Looking at the finances of the Millenials, they appear to be off to a slower start than generations prior to GenY:

  • 63.2% earned $39,999 or less in personal income (before tax)
  • 43.3% still paying off student loans
  • 48.1% “reported being satisfied with their current financial situation.”

Age focus

The trending on adult children at home is “getting older”:

  • Between 1981 and 2011 (census) the percentage of 25-29-year-olds living at home more than doubled to 25.2%
  • those aged 20 to 24. 62.6% lived with parents in 2016 an increase of 20.6% from 1981.

Download the full report here>>

Auberge on the Park-Tridel


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