Hannamariah / Shutterstock.com

Metro areas with low rates of marriage, high unemployment, and low educational attainment have the largest share of 'boomerang' kids.

The slow progress of the job market has forced many young people to move back home, according to a widely reported study released last week.

The study, "During the Great Recession, More Young Adults Lived with Parents," [PDF] from Ohio State University's Zhenchao Qian, examines why so many more young people are living with their parents today than 30 years ago. Qian cites three main factors for the shift: delay of marriage, economic fallout of the recession, and low educational attainment.

Nationwide, almost a quarter of adults ages 20-34 lived at home at some point between 2007 and 2009, compared to 17 percent in 1980, according to the study. The same stat for those under 25 rose by 11 percentage points during the same time period.

The study argues that metro areas where low marriage rates, high unemployment rates, low educational attainment and low median income prevail show a higher percentage of young people living at home. The Bridgeport, Connecticut metro area is one such example. It boasts the highest percentage of young people living at home (34 percent) thanks to its relatively high rate of unemployment (8 percent) and low marriage rate (29 percent).

The size of the metro may also play a role. Large, expensive metros like New York and Los Angeles had high concentrations of young adults living with their parents, 30 and 28 percent respectively, during the 2007-2009 period. Conversely, many of the metros with lower concentrations of young people living with their parents are also relatively small metros.

The table below (from the study) ranks the metro areas with the largest and smallest percent of the young adult population that live at home.

Metropolitan Areas by Percent Living with Parents, among Young Adults Aged 25-29,
2007-2009

Rank Metro Area Percentage of Young Adults
Living with Parents
Top Ten    
1 Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk,  CT 34
2 Honolulu, HI 32
3 McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX 31
4 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL 31
5 New York-Northern New Jersey-Long
Island, NY-NJ-PA
30
6 Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA 28
7 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA 28
8 El Paso, TX 28
9 Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, PA 27
10 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 26
     
Bottom Ten    
91 Provo-Orem, UT 12
92 Colorado Springs, CO 12
93 Oklahoma City, OK 12
94 Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA 12
95 Columbus, OH 11
96 Madison, WI 10
97 Austin-Round Rock, TX 10
98 Boise City-Nampa, ID 9
99 Raleigh-Cary, NC 9
100 Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA 8

Table data courtesy of study, "During the Great Recession, More Young Adults Lived with Parents," by Zhenchao Qian

Top image: Hannamariah/Shutterstock.com

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