Census data: Recession hits US young adults hard

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Lost in a sea of economic insecurity, America’s young adults are floundering like so many others.

According to 2010 census data released Thursday, 20- and 30-somethings in the United States are suffering from their demographic’s highest unemployment rate since World War II, and currently have a higher risk of living in poverty — nearly one in five — than Americans in other age groups.

An inability to secure employment leads to lifestyle changes for young people, according to the American Community Survey, which surveys nearly 3 million households annually.

Some young adults are moving in with Mom and Dad and delaying marriage. The age group in general is buying fewer homes. Many are raising children out of wedlock.

Nationwide, 55.3 percent of those age 16–29 were employed in 2010, down from 67.3 percent in 2000.

About 5.9 million out-of-work Americans age 25–34 shared housing with their parents last year instead of making the career-related long distance moves that are typical of college grads.

This means 25 percent more young adults are living at home than before the recession.

In 2010 only 4.4 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 moved across state lines. And just 2.4 percent of college graduates, some of the most likely Americans to relocate, made long-distance moves.

Adults over 18 who reported being married at some point during 2010 reached a record low of 51.4 percent, compared with 57 percent in 2000. Marriages in the 25–34 age group also hit a new low of 44.2 percent.

The AP reported that home ownership declined for the fourth consecutive year in America’s 75 most populated metropolitan areas, down to 65.4 percent, after a peak of 67.3 percent in 2006. This reflects the reality that young adults with free rent at home, no permanent partners and an incentive to save money in precarious economic times are less likely to purchase new homes.