©istockphoto.com / Dean Mitchell

If your college grad is still living at home with you, you’re not alone. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s Current Population Survey in a new report by Lattice Publishing, more young adults live with their parents in New Jersey than in any other US state.

A sizable 27.6 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds live with their parents in the Garden State. That might have something to do with the 9.1 percent unemployment rate among those NJ adults who live with their parents, higher than the 5 percent unemployment rate for all 25- to 34-year-olds in New Jersey. Young adults in that age range overall in NJ also have a median income of $34,000, versus that of $26,000 for those in that age group living with their parents.

NJ is followed by Florida, California, Rhode Island, Hawaii and New York. Connecticut and Pennsylvania ranked 8th and 13th respectively. The tristate area overall ranks in fourth place nationally for the highest percentage of 25- to 34-year-olds living at home compared to other large metro areas. More than a quarter of them—26.6 percent—are still living at their parents’ place.

There are plenty of factors that likely feed into these results. Crippling student debt, property taxes, high cost of living and a competitive job market with an oversaturation of college-educated young adults. It’s not as easy to leave the nest and land on your feet as it once was.

Not only are these young adults struggling for financial independence, but the parents they’re living with are also often paying more to support them now in adulthood than they did when they were kids. A 2018 survey co-sponsored by Merrill Lynch Wealth and research group AgeWave found that 45 percent of parents reported spending more on their kids as adults versus both the infant/toddler stage and elementary through high school. In addition to footing the bill for college tuition and weddings, many are helping with expenses like rent, vacation and everyday bills.

The survey also found that parents spend twice as much on their adult kids annually than they do on elective contributions to their retirement funds. Not surprisingly, 72 percent of parents report putting their childrens’ interests ahead of their own and 63 percent have put their own financial security at risk to do so. The things we do for our kids!

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