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Young people living with their parents

The number of people aged 20 to 34 who still live with their parents increased by 20% between 1997 and 2011, according to analysis published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

There are a number of reasons that might account for this growth in numbers living with parents, but the ONS points out that the increase over the past decade coincides with an increase in the average price paid by first-time home-buyers of 40% between 2002 and 2011.

In the 20 to 34 age group, over 600,000 more women than men were living as part of a couple in their own household.

The main reason for this is that on average, women tend to form partnerships with men older than themselves. Therefore there were more women in this age group who had formed cohabiting or married relationships than men.

In addition, over 600,000 more women than men were lone parents in their own household. When relationships end, women are more likely than men to take the caring responsibilities for any children.

Finally, women are more likely to participate in higher education than men, often moving away from the parental home to do so. All of these factors contribute to fewer women aged 20 to 34 living with their parents than men.

The ONS comments that young adults tend to leave the parental home earlier in the UK and other north-western European countries than in southern and eastern European countries such as Spain or Italy. The reasons for this are complex, involving differences in age at cohabitation and first marriage, income, affordability of housing and unemployment rates across different countries.

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