More Millennials Are Leaving the Nest to Form Their Own Households

February 1, 2023

From 2016 to 2021, nearly every state saw a spike in the number of young adults between the ages of 25 and 44 forming new households, a development with far-reaching implications for state populations, economic growth and infrastructure.

For many millennials, the economic fallout of the Great Recession a decade and a half ago postponed what for many is a major milestone: leaving their parents’ house or housing shared with roommates to form their own household. But millennials began striking out on their own at a rapid clip starting about seven years ago, according to a new Stateline analysis of census data from the American Community Survey.

“We saw just a massive return to New Jersey in 2020 and 2021. Millennials had been fleeing the state for New York City and downtown Philadelphia, but they found that living in a shoebox in Brooklyn was not very attractive when there’s a pandemic, and you’re raising children,” said James Hughes, a professor of urban planning at Rutgers University.

In New Jersey, the number of households headed by people ages 25-44 grew 13% between 2016 and 2021, after shrinking 7% between 2011 and 2016. Households are defined as any single person or group living together, including families and couples.

Pew 2/1/23

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