Friday, April 14, 2006

Failure to Launch

Failure to Launch is a movie about a male approaching middle age who is still living at home with his parents. His mother takes wonderful care of her son, cooking his meals, doing his lanudry, providing maid service.

The promos for this movie might imply that this is a recent phenomenon--overaged boys remaining at home with Momma. In fact the Census Bureau has reported these data since 1960, and the trends are not so clear in the reported data. First this is mainly a guy thing:
  • In 2004 56.5% of males and 46.5% of females ages 18 to 24 were living at home.
  • Among 25 to 34 year olds 13.9% of males and 8.0% of females were still living at home with their parents.
The trends are less clear.
  • For guys ages 18 to 24 the share living at home with their parents has declined from about 60% a decade ago to about 55% for this decade.
  • For women ages 18 to 24 the trend is also downward but is less drammatic, from about 48% in the early 1990s to about 46% in this decade.
  • For men ages 25 to 34 years the trend is downward, but only slightly, from about 15% in the early 1990s to about 13-14% in this decade.
  • For women ages 25 to 34 years there may be a slight downward trend since the early 1990s, but it is less than 1%.
Boys are clearly and consistently slower to leave home than girls. It happens eventually, but given caring mothers its a shock for some young men to have to care for themselves. To see these data go to:


At 10:19 AM, Blogger Bob TICAS said...

Thanks, Tom, for pointing out these data from the Census. I notice that college students living in dorms are counted as living with their parents. I don't know exactly how that would throw off the overall numbers or the trends, but it seems worth noting.


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