The stat taking us back to 1940

Jim_SamsonIn 1940 Franklin D. Roosevelt won reelection to stay in the White House, The United States was emerging from the Great Depression, and a gallon of gas was about 11 cents.

Today we can hold meetings with people on the other side of the world in real time, we pay for groceries with little plastic cards, and we can only wish that gas were priced at barely more than a dime.

Obviously things are different now, but there’s 1 particular statistic that’s taking us back to the 40s…

I came across a rather startling number yesterday that tells an impactful story about the current economic situation of American youth. And this stat has significant meaning to the real estate market.

For the first time in 75 years, the percentage of women ages 18 to 34 living with parents or relatives has returned to the 1940 level of over 36%.

Just think about that for a moment.

The number of young women living at home with mom and dad is now on par with a time when the average first-marriage age for women was 20 and most women lived with their parents until they got hitched!

Clearly the reasons for staying home are vastly different now, but that’s rough news for the state of young America.

And if you’re wondering about the male side of the story, young men have followed a similar pattern to that of young women in this regard, but the 1940 rate of males ages 18 to 34 living at home was 47.5% compared to the lower 42.8% today.

In either case, more and more young Americans are finding it difficult to leave the nest, and all signs point to the Great Recession.

As student loan debt has ballooned and the youth unemployment rate has climbed, the ability for people entering adulthood to pay rent has simply diminished.

The employment and overall economic outlooks have certainly improved, but how long will it take to reverse the trend that’s taken us all the way back to 1940?

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