Survey shows only 24% of young Americans can achieve financial independence by the age of 22

BEIJING, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) — While most Americans believe that young people should achieve financial independence by the age of 22, less than a quarter of them now meet that expectation, according to a new analysis by the Pew Research Center.


A new pew analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by the Pew Research Center found that by 2018, only 24 percent of young people 22 or younger achieved financial independence, up from 32 percent in 1980.

In the United States, financial independence is defined as at least 150% of the federal poverty level. The Pew analysis also found that about 45 percent of adults ages 18 to 29 said they had received a lot or some financial help from their parents in the past year. Fifty-nine percent of parents said they had provided financial assistance to their adult children.


In addition to financial independence, the rate at which young people have reached other indicators of adulthood has slowed considerably over the past few decades. Today’s young people spend more time in school and later than previous generations. More and more people in their 20s or even 30s live in their parents’ homes. Some of these changes are related to economic capacity, while others may indicate a realignment of life goals and priorities.


Previous research has shown that fewer young people are starting their own homes today than in decades. This may be due in part to rising rents and home-buying costs, while student loan debt is a major burden for young people.

In 1980, 14 per cent of men between the ages of 25 and 29 and 8 per cent of women lived in their parents’ homes. Over the past 40 years, these ratios have increased significantly. In 2018, 27 percent of men in this age group and 17 percent of women live with their parents. Young people without a college degree are most likely to live with their parents, and they are among those with stagnant employment opportunities and wages.

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