Why 2 out of 5 young Californians still live at home
State lawmakers have introduced more than 130 bills this legislative session to try to solve California’s housing affordability crisis, proposing everything from 150 square-foot apartments to a $3 billion affordable housing bond.
Nearly a decade removed from the depths of the Great Recession, a staggering 38 percent of California’s 18- to 34-year-olds still live with their parents, according to U.S. Census data. That’s roughly 3.6 million people stuck at home.
Think of it this way: If “unlaunched” California millennials formed their own state, they would be entitled to more electoral votes than Connecticut, Iowa or Utah. If they formed their own city, it would be the third largest in the country.
Another 10 percent are in the San Francisco-Hayward-Oakland area. According to the apartment rental listing site Zumper, a median one-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles goes for $2,090 a month, and in Oakland a one-bedroom goes for $2,060. While those prices are on the higher side of median estimates, both easily surpass the monthly take-home of the typical millennial at home with mom and dad.
Still, even more affordable parts of the state with concentrated poverty see a large number of stay-at-homers. While sample size constraints make precise estimates unreliable, the El Centro metro area — where a quarter of the population fall below the poverty line — saw roughly 40 percent of its 25-to-34-year-olds live at home.