Adult children still rely on parents for financial support

30 May 2012

The number of adult children living with their parents has soared over the past 15 years, according to new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

In 2011, nearly 3 million people aged between 20 and 34 were living with their parents, up 20% compared to 1997, despite the fact that the number of people in that age group has remained largely the same over that period.

In 1997, one in four men and one in seven women aged 20 to 34 lived with their parents. By 2011, this has grown to one in three men and one in six women.

“A 20% rise in the number of 20 to 34-year-olds living with their parents says all you need to know about the property market and economy – they’re broken,” says Nicholas Ayre of buying agents Home Fusion. “Property ownership is a pipe dream for the majority of today’s young adults while rents are at astronomical levels.”

“With the economy in a coma, lenders beating a retreat and the eurozone threatening to unravel, it looks like the number of young adults living with their parents will continue to rise in the years ahead,” he adds.

Even if children aren’t still living at home, parents are funding them. Research from Standard Life has revealed that 62% of parents are giving, or plan to give, their adult children more financial help than they received from their own parents.

Parents are spending, or expect to spend, an average of £15,495 for each child over the age of 18.

“The economic downturn and price increases have left many parents expecting to have to financially support their children into adulthood. This creates a significant challenge – how to balance the desire to provide for your child, even when they become adults, as well as save to secure your future,” says Julie Russell, head of customer relationships at Standard Life. 

“Parents need to make sure their money works as hard for them as they are working for their children. That means being efficient with their savings and making the most of tax breaks offered by products such as ISAs and pensions,” she adds. 

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