As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread in the U.S., batter the economy and pull people out of cities, a new Pew Research report out Friday found that a record number of young people—a jaw-dropping 52%—are now living with their parents, even beating out figures recorded during The Great Depression.
According to a Pew Research analysis of government data, 52% of Americans ages 18 to 29 were living with at least one parent in July.
It’s a staggering increase from pre-pandemic figures—since February, 2.6 million more young people are living at home, totaling 26.6 million staying with parents in July.
The previous record was documented in the 1940 census with 48%, though Pew notes in the report that there’s a chance the number was higher during the 1930’s, which saw the worst of the Great Depression but a period for which no data exists.
While the youngest subcategory of adults from 18 to 24 had the most steep rate increase, the Pew analysis found that the number of young people moving back in was largely similar across ethnic groups, gender and between city dwellers and residents of rural areas.
Young people have been some of those hurt most by the pandemic-triggered economic recession, and are more likely than members of other age groups to have lost work in the coronavirus downturn.
Experts say the exodus of young people leaving their often-rented housing in favor of their parents’ homes could have massive ramifications for the U.S. rental market in terms of demand.
Before the pandemic, the rate of young Americans living at home has been ticking up continuously since the 1960s, according to census data. Coronavirus, which has claimed the lives of a recorded 187,464 Americans and infected more than 6 million total, has upended life in the U.S and wrecked the economy. The most recent Labor Department report Friday said 13.6 million Americans are out of work.