Pew: 36.4% of young women still live at home or with close relatives

The headline at Hot Air sums it up: "Pew analysis shows US economy setting young women back 75 years."

Indeed, the percentage of women age 18-34 who still live with their parents or close relatives has skyrocketed over the past 15 years to 36.4% – numbers not seen since the 1940s, according to a survey conducted by Pew Research.


Among young men, 42.8 percent were living with relatives last year, below the 1940 high of 47.5 percent.

"The result is a striking U-shaped curve for young women - and young men - indicating a return to the past, statistically speaking," Pew said.

Young women are more likely now to be enrolled in college than in previous decades, with 27 percent of them college students last year, the report said. That compares with 5 percent in 1960.

Last year, 45 percent of young females in college, including those enrolled part time and at community college, lived with family. Among those not in college, a third lived with family.

Many young women are putting off marriage compared with those in previous decades, making staying at home more likely, the report said. In 2013, 30 percent of young women were married, compared with 62 percent in 1940.

The share of young women living with parents or other relatives bottomed at 20 percent in 1960. The upturn increased sharply after 2000 and has not reversed despite a labor market recovery after the Great Recession of 2007-2009, the report said.

Ed Morrisey points out that the trend of young women living at home has continued to rise despite the Obama "recovery":

The big jump occurred in the last 15 years, some of which is obviously due to the Great Recession in 2008-10. However, that trend did not decline during the so-called Obama recovery — in fact, it continued upward at the same rate. This is clearly not just about marriage rates, or a narrow economic effect. It’s a result of misguided economic policies that are stripping opportunity from younger Americans, and overburdening a generation of parents who need this period of time to build enough wealth for issues that will come in their later years.

This should have a direct impact on the 2016 election. Hillary Clinton wants to double down on Obamanomics, the regulatory state that suppresses economic dynamism, and has set back young adults — and perhaps especially young women — 75 years. If Republicans want to make inroads with younger voters (and their parents), this is the context for the fight over economic policy that has to take place in the general election.

"Economic issues" in this election have so far been about income inequality and the "1%."  Republican candidates have tried to highlight their free-market credentials, but that's not what the press wants to cover, and it certainly isn't what Hillary Clinton wants to talk about.  Her campaign is not about improving the economy; it is about using it to show how unfair life in America is because some people have more wealth than others.  Creating a campaign of envy and anger at rich people is Clinton's goal.

I hope that Ed is right and the GOP can alter the narrative.  But talking about stifling the economy with regulation and creating policies that have made it more difficult to create jobs is not as sexy as moralizing about wealth.

If you experience technical problems, please write to