Nearly a third of young men now live with their parents, ONS figures reveal

Nearly a third of young men now live with their parents as the rising cost of studying and unemployment among young people limits their ability to leave the family home.

Figures released today by the Office of National Statistics reveal that 29 per cent of 20 to 34-year-old men are living with their parents. Whilst the figure is lower among young women – 18 per cent – the total number of people of that age group living with their parents is 2.9million.

InĀ Social Trends, an annual report that looks at the state of the nation, the ONS found that thousands more young people were now deciding not to leave the family home, compared to 2001. Nearly 40 per cent of young people say that the high cost of leaving home restricts their ability to move out, and nearly half – 44 per cent – said that the lack of affordable housing was to blame. Among 20 to 24-year-olds, which of that age group has the largest proportion of those still living at home, more than 50 per cent of young men have not left the family home.

The survey found that whilst increasing numbers of young people were choosing to enter further education and go to university, unemployment was also higher among 16 to 24-year-olds than among older age groups.

Among those aged 16 to 24 who have dependent children, unemployment is 20 per cent. For those of that age with no children, it reached 13 per cent in 2007, compared to 4 per cent for older people.

The survey also found that by the end of 2007, house prices had risen to more than seven times the average salary, compared to 3.5 times the average salary in 1997.

The report also highlighted how the economic crisis had hit the housing market, with net lending to individuals in the last quarter of 2008 falling to the lowest level since 1992, and the number of property transactions in the UK more than halving from a peak of almost 160,000 in December 2007 to close to 50,000 at the end of last year.

This year’s study, which focused on families, children and housing, also revealed a further drop in the number of people marrying, which in 2007 fell to 237,000, the lowest level since records began in 1895.

Women are also more likely to have children later in their lives: whilst in 1971 the average age to have a child was just over 23, in 2007 it was 28.

The survey saw a significant increase in the number of working people living alone, which has doubled since 1971. Now, 12 per cent of adults live on their own, with the largest increase among working-age adults.

The report revealed that in 2007 – for the first time – the number of pensioners outnumbered the number of children in the UK. There has also been a three-fold increase in the number of people aged 90 in the country since 1971, with the number now standing at nearly half a million.

With the rise of low-cost airlines and increased car ownership, Britons are travelling more than ever before – be it to work or on holiday. The distance travelled by people in Britain has increased by 95 per cent since 1971, and there has been a 56 per cent increase in the number of domestic passengers travelling from UK airports in the last decade.

Whilst Spain remains the most popular holiday destination – there were more than 15 million visits by people from the UK to the country last year – there has a been a huge increase in the number of visits to new EU member states like Latvia and Poland. The biggest percentage increase of foreign holidays was to Latvia – which increased from 4,000 in 2003 to 50,000 in 2007.