Why, despite rise in youth employment, Spaniards continue to live at home age 34

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Why, despite rise in youth employment, Spaniards continue to live at home age 34
Two out of 3 Spaniards still live at home in their 30s. Photo: Brandon Bell / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

It’s well known that young Spaniards live with their parents longer than youth in northern Europe, but a new report reveals just how dire the situation has become.


A new report, entitled Prospective Study on Employment and Youth in Spain, by the NGO Ayuda en Acción and published this Tuesday April 11th, reveals that 64 percent of young people between the ages of 18 and 34 in Spain continue to live with their parents.

The report warns that, if urgent measures are not taken, by 2030 that percentage is set to rise.

The report concludes that income inequality continues to be the main reason for the difficulties experienced by most young people, but that "finding employment for youth is not a guarantee of escaping poverty or having access to basic goods such as housing”.  

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Ayuda en Acción explains that, while the price of owning a home has become more expensive, the young population that has been able to afford to do so has dropped from 60 percent in 2006 to 30 percent currently. This sector of the population is now also more subject to the ups and downs of the housing market and is "even more sensitive to the economic situation", the report states.

The link between the price of housing and the economic situation suggests that the problems of youth emancipation could continue into the next decade.  

“Access to employment has clearly improved, but when housing prices also rise, and conversely, when housing is more affordable, this is when finding a job is more difficult", warns the Ayuda en Acción.

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According to the study and the panel of experts that created it, the percentage of the young population that live with their parents will increase by almost one point in 2030 if no measures are taken.

Young people in Spain move out of home almost three and a half years later than the EU average, which is currently 29 years and nine months, according to official data from Eurostat.


"The data shows that the economic recovery has not allowed a reduction in the percentage of young people (between 25 and 34 years old) who live with their parents, which has even increased in recent years," the study states. Despite the fact that both the economy, the employability of young people and their educational level have improved, young people in Spain are still having difficulties in moving out of home.

This "represents a change of perspective compared to the perception that existed years ago, in which unemployment youth and job insecurity were considered the main obstacles to youth emancipation," the report explains. The NGO states that "access to employment is no longer a factor in guaranteeing emancipation”.  

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The priority for Ayuda en Acción is to "reduce the burden of the cost of housing on young families", as well as "increase and improve the housing supply, especially rental housing". To do this, it suggests that a new political framework to solve the structural problem in housing is necessary.  


If these types of measures are taken, Ayuda en Acción foresees an improvement of up to eight points in the number of young people between the ages of 25 and 34 who can afford to move out of home.

However, if current trends continue, the study predicts that the percentage of young who cannot leave the family home will go from the current 46.8 percent to 47.5 percent in 2030. But, if the administration intervenes and public policies are put in place, that figure could be reduced to 38 percent in seven years.  


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