Millennials make up one-third of the U.S. population and 60 percent of us have some college courses under our belts, which means we’re technically smarter than our parents. That must be why such a high percentage of Generation Y is choosing to forgo a rent payment and save a few bucks by living a bit longer with mom and pops. Of course, we’re using the word “choose” loosely. Between student loans, stagnant wages and unemployment, it’s no wonder 34.1 percent of millennials nationwide are still living at home.
Also, rent prices are rising and don’t seem to be slowing down — another reason Millennials are not leaving the nest. For example, Chicago boasts some of the highest rent prices in America, but apartments in cities like Minneapolis are renting for more than $1,200 and nearby Milwaukee apartments are not getting any cheaper.
But let’s take a closer look at the Chicago housing market for young people. In the Chicago metropolitan area, the number of 18- to 34-year-olds who have yet to fly the coup is even higher. According to a recent study by apartment finder Abodo, 39.1 percent of millennials in the Chicago, Naperville and Elgin area live at home. Abodo used U.S. Census data to analyze 16 metropolitan areas that exceed the national average, and Chicagoland had the seventh highest ratio of homebound millennials.
All of the regions studied had populations of 1 million or greater, meaning many of the country’s largest cities also made the list. The six metropolitan areas with higher percentages of nesting millennials are: Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Florida (44.8 percent); Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California (44.5 percent); New York-Newark-Jersey City (43.8 percent); Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim (41.5 percent); Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington (41 percent); and Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Michigan (40 percent).
Lack of employment and the high cost of rent are major factors in this generation's inability to leave the nest. Not surprisingly, Chicago's millennials are subjected to both of these stressors. The unemployment rate for millennials in the city is 11.2 percent, which is more than 4 percentage points higher than the national average for this group. Similarly, a lot of young people in Chicago are rent burdened, meaning they'd have to spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing. The median cost of rent in Chicago ($1,012) represents a staggering 75 percent of at-home millennial's median monthly income ($1,355).
So if you're in your 20s and still living at home, don't be embarrassed. There's safety in numbers, and a lot of your peers are in the same boat.
To read the full report, click here.