Young Europeans continue to find it difficult to fly the nest

Nearly 50% of 18-35 year-olds across Europe still live at home. [Shutterstock]

New statistics highlight how seriously Europe’s economic malaise is still affecting young people, as significant numbers of 18-35 year-olds continue to live with their parents.

A remarkable number of young adults across Europe are staying or returning to their family home in order to save costs on rent or getting on the property ladder, according to Eurostat data for 2015.

Southern and Eastern Europe dominate the top of the table, and in every one of the EU’s 28 member states, more young men than women refuse or are unable to fly the nest.

In Croatia, 74% of young men under 35 still live at home, while just over 60% of young women still rely on their parents for accommodation.

Denmark provides the most independent young people, or at least provides the best conditions for young people to make their own way in the world, with just 19.7% still living at home. Finnish women proved to be the most independent, as only 14% reside with their parents.

EU urged to strengthen youth guarantee scheme

The European Union’s flagship Youth Guarantee programme has been criticised for yielding disappointing results. Yet, Brussels has been told to invest more money and time in the scheme in order to push down the bloc’s youth jobless rate.

In terms of EU-aspiring countries, 82.8% of Serbian men in 2015 relied on their family to put a roof over their head. In the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, over 90% of young men lived with their parents between 2010 and 2014.

Across the 28 members, some countries saw an improvement on previous years, like France, which decreased from 36.5% to 34.5%. However, others, like the United Kingdom, saw a worsening of the situation. In total, the EU28 has a live-at-home rate of 47.7%, a figure that has remained fairly constant since 2010.

There are a number of factors that contribute to Europe’s youth staying in their childhood homes, including the continent’s continuing difficult economic situation, which has forced people to live with their parents in order to make ends meet.

Social justice improving for the first time since 2008

Unemployment across the EU is falling as the labour market recovers, but not all citizens are benefiting. A new study has found that in-work poverty is on the rise and youth unemployment remains stubbornly high.

Other aspects include a lack of employment opportunities in highly-skilled work and people studying later in life than the previous generation. Of course, there are a number of social factors that divide the North and South of the continent from each other, including different family structures and religious values.

It is not a phenomenon limited to Europe either. Back in May, the Pew Research Centre revealed that for the first time in 130 years, more young people in the United States in the same age bracket live with their parents rather than with partners: 32.1% versus 31.6%, respectively.

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