Saturday, August 23, 2008

Losers living at home: It's been my impression that there are a lot more losers these days still living at home with mom. You know--living in the basement. No job, but lots of video games. (Maybe I'm thinking about this because I recently saw Stepbrothers. Very funny by the way. Funnier than Tropic Thunder which was funny. But don't trust my taste--I'm a big Three Stooges fan.)

Well, the data don't back me up.

The General Social Survey has asked people about their living situation since the mid-70s. I calculated the percent of single men ages 25-40 who live with their parents by decade. Here are the results:

Percent of single men ages 25-40 living with parents

1970s 24.2
1980s 21.9
1990s 13.9
2000s 13.4

So, what is going on? My guess is that, compared to the 70s, many more single men are cohabiting with a girlfriend now. Guys who had a job but didn't earn enough for their own place now can head their own household with a female partner.

It might also be that a single man in the 25-40 age range was more likely in the 70s to be someone who lacked the ability to have a decent job and to get married. More single men now are capable but are not in a hurry to settle down. In other words, the average single guy these days has more going for him compared to a few decades ago.

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