A recent Pew study on living arrangements of young people between the ages of 18 and 35 produced an alarming headline from CBS that proclaimed, “Living with Parents is Now the Norm.” Meanwhile, a sociology professor told the Washington Post that this new development proved the “decline in the nuclear family.”
But such reactions are misleading: the study showed just 32% dwelling at home, so it’s hardly “the norm”; the other 68% shared space with spouses, romantic partners, roommates, or lived alone. The trend doesn’t show an abandonment of marriage, but merely reflects young people pursuing added years of education and delaying the process of beginning families of their own. Living with parents actually reflects the old ideal of extended family – with several generations sharing lives under the same roof.
Most Americans recognize that there’s nothing about living in a dorm or with roommates that makes such experiences inherently superior to living with parents who love you.