Survey: Most Young Adults Live Near Their Hometown

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Real Estate


There’s no place like home—which is why most young adults are sticking close by when they move out on their own.

Sixty-two percent of young Americans live in or near their hometowns, according to a new survey from LendingTree. Living close to family and friends may provide an extra layer of support for young adults, particularly those struggling with high housing costs, researchers say. The top reasons millennials and Gen Zers say they remain close to home include feeling obligated to be near family, convenience, the proximity of friends, and not being able to afford to move farther away, according to the LendingTree survey, which is based on responses from about 2,000 people.

“The lockdowns during the pandemic probably brought many families closer together, as they were able to spend more time with one another than they otherwise could have,” says Jacob Channel, LendingTree’s senior economist. “Even if they lived elsewhere before, realizing how much they liked being near their family may have resulted in more people opting to move closer to their parents.”

The National Association of REALTORS®’ 2023 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers showed that people of all ages have been moving shorter distances. In 2023, sellers moved a median distance of 20 miles to a new home, down from 50 miles the year prior, according to NAR’s survey. Significantly fewer moves in 2023 involved crossing state lines than in 2022. Further, the most commonly cited reason for selling a home in 2023 was the desire to move closer to family and friends (23%), the NAR survey shows.

New Families, Men Prioritize Family Ties
As young adults start families of their own, they may want to live close to their parents for extra help. Nearly three-fourths of young parents with children under the age of 18 cite help with child care as an important reason to live near family, according to the LendingTree survey. “Young families fortunate enough to get help from grandparents or extended family members can reallocate the savings to housing costs, paying debts and other expenses,” LendingTree researchers note.

Besides young families, men tend to favor living near their hometown more than women—64% versus 50%, respectively, the LendingTree survey finds. Men also are more likely to live closer to their parents’ house. High-earning individuals—those with household incomes of $100,000 or more—also are more likely to say living near family is important.

As for young adults who don’t currently live near their hometown, many say they hope to move back one day. Forty-seven percent of young Americans who live outside their hometown would consider moving back, the study shows. Gen Zers under the age of 26 are more likely to say they’ll return than millennials. Those who moved away say they originally did so to try something new, for a relationship, or to pursue economic and educational opportunities.
Melissa Dittmann Tracey is a contributing editor for REALTOR® Magazine, editor of the Styled, Staged & Sold blog, and produces a segment called "Hot or Not?(link is external)" in home design that airs on NAR’s Real Estate Today radio show. Follow Melissa on Instagram and Twitter at @housingmuse.
Content by Melissa Dittmann Tracey