Are children staying at home longer?

Back in the day, the word “kipper” meant a type of fish, but today it can sometimes mean something else entirely.

Do you know what it is?

Well, to some people, the acronym KIPPERS stands for… Kids In Parents Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings!

Should I stay or should I… stay?

We’ve been making jokes for a number of years about adult children not wanting to leave home.  family-child-children-house-population-demographics-dollhouse-brick

Now there can be a number of reasons for this, but one of them is fast becoming housing affordability.

And now with the latest Census data released, we now have some statistics to determine whether children are actually staying at home longer than in years gone by.

According to demographers, the number of children – who are really adults let’s face it – living at home has increased over the past five years.image-4464742

The chart above shows us that, at 18 years of age, 74 per cent of children are still living at home with their parents.

By age 40, this has dropped to four per cent.

Interestingly, there are still some in this category right through to over 60s, but it’s likely for these older ones that the care relationship is reversed.

What we can see is that the during the 20-something age range, about four to six per cent move out with each additional year (from 51 per cent at age 20 to just nine per cent still living at home at 30).

What does the latest Census data tell us?

The thing is there has been a change in the numbers of children living at home – but only slightly.  


According to, the number of 21 to 24 year olds still living at home increased from 41.4 to 43.4 per cent between the 2011 and the 2016 Census.

Ditto with 25 to 29 year olds, with the numbers only increasing slightly from 15.7 to 17 per cent.

Those numbers aren’t earth shattering if you ask me.

The most prominent change between the two censuses was for 24 year olds with 70 per cent having left the family home in 2016 – a decrease of three percentage points.

The lesson from all of this could be that demographic and housing trends have led to children delaying leaving the family next by about six months over the past five years.

Country vs. city

The research also found that country kids move out of the family home quicker than their city compatriots.image-44244215

It appears that between the ages of 18 and 32, young people living outside capital cities are consistently less likely to be living with their parents.

The largest difference is in the 20 to 24 age range, where 46 per cent of metropolitan young people were still living at home with parents but only 36 per cent in the regions. City S Suburb Market

What’s also interesting is that this is despite the fact that many regional young people move to metropolitan areas to live independently.

Why do young people move out earlier in the regions?

Again, it’s most likely to do with housing affordability as well as the differing costs of living between the city and the country.

The bottom line is that young people are staying at home longer than in previous years.

But the numbers aren’t as high as you might think.

If you’d like to read more about the results, you can do so here.


Subscribe & don’t miss a single episode of Michael Yardney’s podcast

Hear Michael & a select panel of guest experts discuss property investment, success & money related topics. Subscribe now, whether you're on an Apple or Android handset.

Need help listening to Michael Yardney’s podcast from your phone or tablet?

We have created easy to follow instructions for you whether you're on iPhone / iPad or an Android device.


Prefer to subscribe via email?

Join Michael Yardney's inner circle of daily subscribers and get into the head of Australia's best property investment advisor and a wide team of leading property researchers and commentators.

Avatar for Property Update


Kate Forbes is a National Director Property Strategy at Metropole. She has 15 years of investment experience in financial markets in two continents, is qualified in multiple disciplines and is also a chartered financial analyst (CFA).

Michael's Daily Insights

Join Michael Yardney's inner circle of daily subscribers.

NOTE: this daily service is a different subscription to our weekly newsletter so...