Yet more proof that the world can change a lot in 20 years: in 1993, 80% of parents with young children said that children should be financially independent from their parents by the age of 22. Now, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center on young people and the economy, only 67% of parents share this view, and fully 3-in-10 (31%) say that children shouldn’t have to be financially independent until they’re 25.
According to Pew, nearly a quarter (24%) of young adults have moved back in with their parents after living on their own because of financial hardship. Fully half (49%) of these young adults say they have taken a job they didn’t want, just to pay the bills, and 31% have postponed either getting married or having a baby. And only 30% of 18-34 year-old adults consider their current job a “career.”
A plurality (41%) of the general public agrees that young adults are having a tougher time financially than middle-aged or older adults. And large majorities of the public say that it’s harder for young adults to reach the financial goals that their parents took for granted. But in spite of all these gloomy numbers, young adults remain optimistic about their chances overall. Nearly 9-in-10 (88%) young adults say they either have or earn enough money now or expect they will in the future. Only 9% say they don’t think they will ever have enough to live the life they want.
It’s worth checking the whole survey out. The results are somewhat counterintuitive, but young adults’ hopefulness in the face of these tests is undeniable. A recent PRRI survey also found that Millennials are more likely to believe that the American Dream still holds true (48%) than they are to believe that it once held true, but not anymore (39%), so it’s striking that this generation, in spite of these challenges, can hold a sunny outlook about their futures.