Czechs linger longer

Northern Europeans tend to set out on their own earlier than those in the south or new EU states, report shows

Raymond Johnston 31.12.2010

The carefree lifestyle of living at home with one's parents is popular in southern Europe and new EU member states foto: © ČTKČeská pozice

The carefree lifestyle of living at home with one's parents is popular in southern Europe and new EU member states

Young Czech adults live with their parents slightly longer than the EU average, according to a recent report by Eurostat, the EU statistical arm. The overall research, based on data from 2008, showed 45.6 percent of young adults in the EU between the ages of 18 and 34 still lived with at least one of their parents.

“Countries can be grouped into clusters, with, on the one hand, the northern Member States, where young adults tend to leave the parental home earlier, and on the other hand, a group of countries composed of most southern countries, as well as some new Member States, where young adults tend to stay longer with their parent(s),” Eurostat said in a summary of the statistics.

While 71 percent of women and 81.5 percent of men between 18 and 24 across the EU-27 lived with one or more parents, those numbers rose to 84.5 percent for Czech women and 91.8 percent for Czech men. The EU-27 average drops to 19.6 percent of women and 32 percent of men between 25 and 34 years old living with one or more parent. Czechs are higher still, at 22.2 percent for women and 39.9 percent for men, respectively.

 

Share of young adults living with parents

Slovenia and Malta, both new EU members and southern countries, led the statistics for the 18 to 24 age group, with 93 percent of women and 97 percent of men still living with parents. Slovakia was next, with 90 percent of women and 96 percent of men still at home. Denmark, Finland and Sweden had the lowest proportions.

Across the EU, the main reason given for those between 18 and 24 living with one or more parents was education. “Not surprisingly, there are substantial differences between the age groups 18–24 and 25–34. On average in the EU-27, a majority (54.8 percent) of young adults aged 18–24 living with their parent(s) declared they were still in education, while this dropped to only 13.4 percent for those aged 25–34,” Eurostat said. 

The share of young adults aged 18-24 living with their parents and involved in education ranged from 27.7 percent  in Malta to 77 percent in Slovenia. The Czech Republic, while above 50 percent, was just short of the EU average. ‘Not every job automatically leads to financial self-sufficiency.’

Finding a job does not automatically mean that a young person will move out.  “Access to employment with a stable situation is a key condition for developing an independent life, and, in the case of young adults, to setting up their own household. However, not every job automatically leads to financial self-sufficiency,” the report said. In 2008, in EU-27, some 51.1 percent of young adults aged 18–34 living with their parents were working full or part time.

One factor that may lead young adults to live at home is the lack of affordable housing. “This may be particularly relevant for those aged 18–34 who live in urban areas and do not need to move out of the parental home in order to find a job,” the report said.

Gender gap in partnerships

The Czech Republic was above the EU average for women between 18 and 34 living with a partner in consensual union. A consensual union as defined by Eurostat means both partners live in the same household either with or without a legal basis such as marriage. The EU-27 average for women between 18 and 34 was 47.6 percent, while for the Czech Republic it was 48.8 percent. ‘Women, on average, marry or move out with a partner earlier than men.’

The number of Czech men living in a consensual union with a partner, at 34.7 percent, was just below the EU-27 average of 35.8 percent.

“A key factor driving the gender imbalance among young adults living with their parent(s) is being involved in a consensual union with a partner (with or without a legal basis). Women, on average, marry or move out with a partner earlier than men,” Eurostat stated.

There is some overlap in the figures for living with parents and living in a consensual union, with 4.5 percent of young adults in the EU-27 doing both.

Finland, Sweden, Romania and France had the highest proportion of men and women between 18 and 34 living in a consensual union. Ireland, Slovenia, Malta and Slovakia had the lowest numbers for women while Greece, Slovenia and Italy had the lowest numbers for men.