Statistics Canada confirms what I’ve been writing about.
The article is accurate – as far it goes – but it doesn’t tell the whole story. I went to the Stats Canada report and dug just a little deeper.
It’s true that if you combine two age groups – 20-24 and 25-29 – into a single 20-29 group, the percentage who are still living with their parents is 42.3% and it does represent a miniscule drop from 42.5% in 2006.
But there’s a good reason not to combine the two age groups and stop right there.
A substantial number of people in the 20-24 age group would still be in school, and would not be in a position to move out of the parental home. The real “test” of readiness for adulthood – and moving to living on one’s own – would more typically not kick in until someone was in the 25-29 age bracket. It makes sense to evaluate the two groups separately.
When we do, the results are striking:
The 20-24 age group
As far back as 1981, 41.5% of people age 20-24 were still living at home. This increased to 49.1% in 1986, then 50.5% in 1991. There was a big jump of five percentage points – to 55.8% in 1996, but since then the number has increased very slightly: 57.2% in 2001, 59.5% in 2006 and then down very slightly to 59.3% for the current 2011 report.
The 25-29 age group
Here the jump has been much more dramatic. In 1981, only 11.3% of people age 25-29 were still living in their parents’ home. This jumped to 15.2% in 1986, 16.9% in 1991, and 21.0% in 1996. The figure hit 22.5% in 2001, 24.7% in 2006, and increased by almost a full percentage point to 25.2% for the current 2011 report — in contrast to the slight decrease over the same period for the 20-24 year olds.
In 1981, the ratio of 20-24 year olds living at home to 25-29 year olds living at home was almost 4:1. Today it’s about 2.3:1.
The big news here is not in the total 20-29 age group, but in the older half – the half who, in the past, would have been more likely to be able to move out on their own.