Earlier this year, Kathy Pao, 28, was living in Washington, DC, with two roommates in a townhouse and working as a management analyst for the federal government. Then Covid-19 hit and her roommates moved home to California: one permanently, and the other for long periods, to stay with family. Not wanting to live alone, Kathy decided to do what more than half of 18- to 29-year-olds have already done: move back in with her parents.
The notion of millennials living at home well into adulthood has become a trope and a generational punchline. But because of Covid-19, moving home isn’t the signal of personal failure or laziness it used to be. For some, it’s an economic decision — why pay expensive rent when proximity to your workplace won’t matter for the foreseeable future? For others, being close to elderly parents means they can keep an eye on mom and dad’s health. And for the sea of millennials who’ve lost their jobs during the pandemic, moving back home isn’t a choice, it’s a necessity.