Lily Gulliford with her son Milton, 3, chose to move back in with her parents to afford fertility treatment. Picture: Tara Croser
Lily Gulliford with her son Milton, 3, chose to move back in with her parents to afford fertility treatment. Picture: Tara Croser

Why fewer adults are leaving home

PARENTS are having more trouble getting adult offspring to fly the coop, with an increasing number of Aussie kids in their 20s still living with Mum and Dad.

A new study by the Australian Institute of Family Studies shows the proportion of people aged 20 to 24 living with their parents increased from 36 per cent in 1981 to 43 per cent in 2016.

The number of 25 to 29-years-olds still at home has grown from 10 to 17 per cent in the same time.

Although the latest figures are from 2016, Institute researcher Lixia Qu said the trend is expected to continue at the same or a faster rate, meaning at least 44 per cent of 20-24 year olds and 18 per cent of 25-29 year old will still be living at home by 2021.

"We expect that growth to remain pretty stable, and if anything it will increase rather than decrease," Ms Qu said.

"It has been a long-term trend, and we don't see anything intervening to throw that off."

Institute director Anne Hollands said it was especially common for young people to live at home for longer in capital cities.

"In 2016, 50 per cent of young men and 43 per cent of young women in our capital cities lived at home, compared to 42 per cent of young men and 31 per cent of young women of this age in regional areas," she said.

"A range of factors including the cost of housing and time spent in higher education have contributed to a growing trend for more young people to delay moving out in recent decades."

Ms Qu said more young men than young women are living with their parents, but it is becoming more popular with women at a faster rate.

 

Lily Gulliford with her son Milton, 3, chose to move back in with her parents to afford fertility treatment. Picture: Tara Croser
Lily Gulliford with her son Milton, 3, chose to move back in with her parents to afford fertility treatment. Picture: Tara Croser

 

"Our analysis shows that 47 per cent of 20-24 year old men were living in the family home in 2016, compared to 39 per cent of young women in that age group," she said.

"However, the percentage of young men living at home only increased slightly between 1981 and 2016, while the proportion of young women living with their parents rose from 27 per cent in 1981 to 39 per cent in 2016."

Lily Gulliford, 26, along with her husband and young son moved back in with her parents after several years of renting their own home in Brisbane's Rocklea.

Ms Gulliford said they chose to do so to be able to afford fertility treatment and to save money to buy their own home.

"We desperately wanted another baby and fertility treatment was getting so expensive that we couldn't progress," she said.

"At the same time my parents were struggling with several mortgages, so it just made sense financially."

She said their current arrengement benefits the whole family.

"We still pay my parents rent, but it's significantly less than we were paying for our own house," Ms Gulliford said.

"It just didn't make sense to live two streets away when there's spare bedrooms here."



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