More than a third of young Canadian adults now live with their parents

By: Dominic Licorish on August 2, 2017

The latest census data from Statistics Canada shows that more young people are living at home with their parents than ever before.

According to StatCan, just over one in three (34.7%) Canadians aged 20 - 34 were living with at least one parent in 2016. This marks a slow but steady increase since 2001, when 30.6% of young adults lived with their parents.

“For decades, the proportion of young adults living with at least one parent has been rising in Canada, and the 2016 Census shows that this upward trend continues,” StatCan said in its release.

The trend is particularly pronounced in Toronto, where nearly half of young adults (47.4%) live with their parents. A large part of this could be due to the city’s housing prices, which have hit record levels and which have completely disconnected from incomes. According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, the average price for all home types (including condos and townhouses) hit $730,472 at the end of last year.

While the census did not collect reasons for why young adults live at home, it did also ask respondents whether they’d ever lived on their own before or not. The majority (69%) of adults aged 20 to 24 had never left home. That percentage drops sharply as the respondents got older. Among 25 to 29 year olds, the rate was 27.2%, and for those aged 30 to 34, it was 8.6%.

Taking care of adult children has become something of a hot topic lately, as more young adults struggle to make ends meet on their own and turn to parents for help with reaching major milestones in their 20s. Other adult children simply live with their parents because that’s how their parents were raised themselves. StatCan notes in its main release that with immigration becoming the biggest contributor to the population, the number of multi-generation households is increasing faster than ever.

More interesting highlights from the release zero in on demographics and region-specific data.

  • Oshawa, Ont. (just outside Toronto) has the second-largest share of young adults living with parents with 47.2%.

  • More young men live with their parents than young women. Five men for every four women aged 20 to 34 lived with their parents in 2016

  • At 42.1%, Ontario is the only province with a larger share of young adults living with parents than the national average.

  • Saskatchewan has the least amount of young adults living with parents at 24.4%

  • The national average of 34.7% is actually quite normal compared to other countries such as:

    • United States — 34.1% of those aged 18 to 34

    • Australia  — Approx. 30%

    • European Union (2012)  — 48%