Percentage of millennials living with parents at 75-year high

Published: Dec. 22, 2016 at 6:53 AM EST
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Millennials are moving back in with their parents, and they aren't moving out, according to CBS News.

Nearly 40 percent of young adults lived with their parents, step-parents, grandparents and other relatives last year, which is the highest point in 75 years, according to data obtained by CBS News from real estate analytics company Trulia.

CBS News reports the only time in U.S. history when those numbers were higher was in 1940, when the American economy was recovering from the Great Depression.

The number of millennials staying at home as been climbing for the last 10 years, starting shortly before the Great Recession of 2008 and accelerating during the downturn and recovery.

There are a few key factors tied to the phenomenon, including Americans delaying marriage and starting families, CBS reports. But a larger issue may be a combination of low wages, student debt and rapidly escalating rents.

“Even though unemployment rates have decreased and the economy is picking up, we know wages are stagnant, so this will impact this generation of homebuyers, making it more challenging to save for a down payment," Cheryl Young, senior economist at Trulia tells CBS News. “The millennials are getting married later and having fewer children, and that’s particular to this generation.”

Over the last 10 years, America's youngest generation faced obstacles as they came of age as the economy fell into a recession, which caused higher unemployment rates and tighter credit card markets. Millennials were also taking on increasing amounts of student debt, CBS reports. The typical undergraduate student borrower had $30,1000 in student loan debt in 2016, a 53 percent increase in the last decade.

The living-at-home trend has been monitored by the real estate industry because the formation of new households--when young adults buy or rent apartments or homes--is part of what drives the housing market. It also helps boost the economy as a whole.