August 15, 2018 | ° F

New Jersey millennials most likely to live with parents, census finds

Photo by Michael Makmur |

More millennials live with their parents than with any other person for the first time in at least 130 years, according to a Pew Research Center study.

New Jersey has the highest number of millennials in the U.S. still living at home with their parents for various reasons, according to an NJ Advance Media report.

In 2015, almost half of the percentage of people aged 18-34 were still living at home with their parents. New Jersey also ranks number one in housing costs, according to the report. 

Nationwide, millennials are more likely to be living with their parents than in any other living condition, like with significant others or with roommates, according to the Pew Research Center. Just under a third of millennials live at home, compared to 31.6 percent who live with significant others or on their own.

This is a drastic shift from 50 years ago, when only about 20 percent of people aged 18-34 lived with their parents but more than 60 percent of people in that age group lived on their own or with their partners, according to Pew.

New Jersey also has recovered a lot slower from the recession than other states, said James Hughes, dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. 

Many suburban economies in the country have fallen, causing New Jersey to recover more slowly and making it difficult to find a job out of college, he said.

“The basic reason for that is New Jersey is the most suburban of states,” Hughes said. “Corporations were fleeing cities, we flourished during that time but over the past 15 years, many companies, businesses want to be in urban areas that are 24/7.”

Companies would rather be in places like Jersey City, Chelsea or Brooklyn rather than places like Somerset County or Hunterdon County, he said.

Hurricane Sandy was a factor in making the state’s economy worse because it led to a lot of lost tourist money, and it cost a lot of money to rebuild the places that were destroyed, he said.

New York City has grown in the past few years, and many people would rather work in the city than in New Jersey, he said.

“New York is one of the fastest growing areas in the country,” Hughes said. “It’s fashionable to be in New York, so that’s taken away some of the job growth and economic recovery that would’ve taken place in New Jersey.”

Michael Bandola, a School of Arts and Sciences senior, said that New Jersey’s proximity to New York City is a reason why housing costs are so high in this state.

“It’s harder for people to get jobs now in this area, and people are very dependent on their families,” he said.

Living at home saves money, said Vishal Saini, a Rutgers Business School senior who enjoys living at home with his family.

“Some students like myself don’t have a job where they can afford to live on their own,” Saini said. “They can only work 20 hours a week, maybe 30 max because you’re also a full-time student and have other stuff to do.”

Saini said a weight is lifted off his shoulders because he does not have to worry about paying rent, groceries and other necessities. He said the housing at Rutgers is too expensive, and he prefers commuting because it is easier for him.

Eventually, more millennials will start to live away from home as time goes on, once the generation starts to get older. Building themselves up in their careers will help them have their own self-sustaining jobs and their own homes, Hughes said.

Living away from home is more expensive than living at home, Bandola said, he prefers the independence that comes along with living away from his parents. Splitting rent with roommates is less expensive for him than living officially on campus.

Living away from home is something Saini would like to do, if he had the opportunity. He would like the experience of it and the freedom of it.

“New Jersey is its own diverse and accepting state,” Saini said. “Living at home isn’t really a bad thing, I know a lot of people who do that and it’s normal.”

Christopher Bohorquez is a School of Arts and Sciences junior. He is a staff writer for The Daily Targum.

Christopher Bohorquez

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