Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Release Date
4102.0 - Australian Social Trends, 1994  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/05/1994   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product  
Contents >> Family >> Living Arrangements: Living with parents

Living Arrangements: Living with parents

Although young adults are more likely to live apart from their parents than with them, they are staying longer in the parental home before moving out.

Young adults are leaving home at later ages. Between 1981 and 1991, the number of people aged 20-34 years living with their parents increased by 35%, from 580,000 to 790,000. These figures represented 16% and 19% respectively of all people aged 20-34 years. The proportion of 20-24 year olds living with their parents increased from 34% to 40% and the proportion of 25-29 year olds increased from 9% to 13%. These increases were greater for women than for men.

As a consequence of marrying at younger ages, women tend to leave home earlier than men. In 1991, 66% of women aged 20-24 years were not living with their parents compared to 54% of men.

PROPORTION OF PEOPLE LIVING WITH PARENTS

Age group (years)

20-24
25-29
30-34
Total
%
%
%
%
'000

Men
      1981
42.5
13.1
5.3
20.7
376.9
      1991
46.0
17.1
7.3
23.4
475.0
Women
      1981
25.6
5.7
2.3
11.4
205.4
      1991
33.9
9.1
3.4
15.2
310.5
Total
      1981
34.1
9.4
3.8
16.1
582.4
      1991
40.0
13.1
5.3
19.3
785.5
'000
'000
'000
'000
Total
      1981
425.8
111.0
45.6
582.4
. .
      1991
537.1
174.9
73.6
785.5
. .


Source: Census of Population and Housing


Students

43% of full-time students aged 20-34 years lived with their parents in 1991 compared to 25% of part-time students and 17% of those not studying. Regardless of age, full-time students were more likely to live with their parents than other people. About half of young students (aged 20-24 years) lived with their parents compared to just over one-third of young people who were not studying. Higher education students were slightly more likely to live with their parents than TAFE students (36% compared to 31%) but this difference is mainly related to their different age structures; even among 20-34 year old students, TAFE students have an older age profile.

The number of full-time students aged 20-34 years more than doubled between 1981 and 1991 and, since students are more likely to live with their parents than non-students, this increase has played a major role in increasing the overall proportion of young people living with their parents.

PROPORTION OF PEOPLE LIVING WITH PARENTS BY STUDENT STATUS, 1991

Age group (years)

20-24
25-29
30-34
Total
Student status
%
%
%
%
'000

Full-time
55.1
16.6
6.7
43.3
113.2
Part-time
49.0
14.5
4.9
24.9
82.2
Not studying
36.8
13.0
5.4
17.2
579.9
Total
40.0
13.1
5.3
19.3
785.5


Source: Census of Population and Housing


Marital Status

As is to be expected, people aged 20-34 years who have never been married were the most likely to live with their parents (38% in 1991), while those who were currently married were least likely to (less than 1% in 1991). People whose marriages had ended through separation or divorce were more likely to live with their parents than those who had been widowed.
PROPORTION OF PEOPLE LIVING WITH PARENTS BY MARITAL STATUS, 1991

Age group (years)

20-24
25-29
30-34
Total
Marital status
%
%
%
%

Never married
48.6
27.7
19.8
37.9
Married
2.9
0.7
0.3
0.8
Separated
17.4
10.1
6.1
9.0
Divorced
19.7
10.7
6.8
8.9
Widowed
12.6
5.8
3.3
6.4
Total
40.0
13.1
5.3
19.3


Source: Census of Population and Housing


Income

In general, young adults with greater incomes were less likely to live with their parents than those with lower incomes. However, the relationship between income and living at home is influenced by the various government pensions and benefits. For example, in 1991, the maximum living-at-home allowance for Austudy was $4,609 a year1 which explains the high proportion of 20-24 year olds with annual income of $3,001-$5,000 living at home.

To qualify for the independent or away-from-home Austudy allowance (maximum of $7,003 in 1991), students must be living apart from their parents. Thus the proportion of 20-24 year olds who were living with their parents falls for those receiving $5,001-$8,000.


Many people aged 25-34 years with low incomes are married women with young children whose only personal income is the family allowance. Only a small proportion are likely to be living with their parents. Among 25-34 year olds, the peak at $5,000-$8,000 annual income corresponds to the income level for single rate social security benefits.

PROPORTION OF PEOPLE LIVING WITH PARENTS BY INCOME, 1991


Source: Census of Population and Housing


Birthplace of mother

Young people with Southern European backgrounds, especially Greece, Italy and Yugoslavia, had a greater tendency to live with their parents than those from other backgrounds. While 40% of all 20-24 year olds lived with their parents in 1991, 66% of 20-24 year olds whose mother had been born in Southern Europe lived with their parents. The relative proportions were also high in older age groups; 28% of 25-29 year olds and 11% of 30-34 year olds with Southern European backgrounds lived with their parents, compared to less than half these proportions in the total population.

Only 21% of 20-24 year olds with New Zealand born mothers lived with their parents but the proportion is probably considerably higher in New Zealand since many young New Zealanders move to Australia independently of their parents.
PROPORTION OF PEOPLE LIVING WITH PARENTS BY BIRTHPLACE OF MOTHER, 1991

Age group (years)

20-24
25-29
30-34
Total
Birthplace of mother
%
%
%
%

Greece
72.8
35.1
13.2
45.8
Italy
67.5
28.6
11.6
36.0
Yugoslavia
61.2
23.6
8.5
32.7
Viet Nam
54.1
19.3
6.7
25.8
Lebanon
48.4
19.2
7.2
25.5
Australia
38.8
12.7
5.5
19.1
Germany
39.7
11.5
4.4
19.0
Netherlands
34.8
9.5
3.4
15.5
United Kingdom
34.5
9.7
3.9
15.3
China
40.7
9.3
3.7
14.4
Ireland
30.5
7.2
2.9
11.4
New Zealand
20.6
4.0
1.3
8.0
Other
35.1
10.6
3.8
16.0
Total
40.0
13.1
5.3
19.3


Source: Census of Population and Housing


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were generally less likely to live with their parents than other Australians. In 1991, 25% of indigenous people aged 20-24 years lived with their parents, compared to 40% of all 20-24 year olds, partly reflecting the earlier age at which Aboriginal people marry.

The difference between the proportions of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people living with their parents reduced with age, and the proportion of 30-34 year olds living with their parents was higher among indigenous than non-Indigenous people. This reflects the greater role of the extended family in the Aboriginal community. Aboriginal families accounted for 9% of extended families in Australia, but only 2% of families overall.

PROPORTION OF PEOPLE LIVING WITH PARENTS, 1991



Source: Census of Population and Housing


Returning home

The 1992 Survey of Families in Australia collected information for all household members on changes of address in the past five years. Where a person and their parents had both moved to the same address within the same year they have been excluded from the following analysis.

In 1992, 7% of 20-34 year olds who were living with their parents had previously lived away from home and had moved back within the previous five years. Older people living with their parents were more likely to have lived away than younger people. 6% of 20-24 year olds living with parents had lived away from home at some time in the previous five years, compared to 9% of 25-29 year olds, and 10% of 30-34 year olds.


Of those children who returned to live with their parents, 22% did so to be with their families and 18% because of the break down of a marital relationship. The proportion of men returning to be with their families was similar to the proportion of women. Women were more likely than men to return to live with their parents following separation or divorce.
REASONS FOR 20-34 YEAR OLDS MOVING TO LIVE WITH PARENTS, 1992



(a) Comprises separation or divorce from registered marriages and separations from de facto marriages.

Source: Survey of Families in Australia



Dependency

There are no available data which indicate the extent of a person's dependence upon their parents, or vice versa. Indeed, where an adult child lives with parents it may be a matter of speculation as to who is dependent on whom. However, the age of the adult child, whether they pay rent or board to their parents and their employment/student status give some indications of dependency status.

Overall, 45% of 20-24 year olds and 33% of 25-34 year olds who lived with their parents in 1992 paid no board. As is to be expected those employed were more likely to pay board than those who were unemployed, and part-time students were more likely to pay board than full-time students. Among 20-24 year olds, women were less likely than men to pay board, while the opposite was the case for 25-34 year olds.

PROPORTION OF PEOPLE LIVING WITH THEIR PARENTS WHO PAID NO BOARD, 1992

Age group (years)

20-24
25-34
Selected characteristics
%
%

Male
42.1
34.8
Female
48.1
28.3
Employed
41.0
31.6
Unemployed
48.4
35.1
Full-time students
85.7
43.6*
Part-time students
43.9
36.8
Income over $25,000
34.2
29.5
Total
44.6
32.5


Source: Survey of Families in Australia


Endnotes

1 Department of Employment, Education and Training (1993) Report on the Operation of the Student Assistance Act 1992.



Previous PageNext Page

Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window


Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.