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Joint Venture reports a third of Silicon Valley’s young adults are living with a parent

Institute for Regional Studies finds trends in latest census data

December 10, 2014 – A new census report shows nearly one in three young adults in Silicon Valley is living with a parent despite the resurgent economy, the Joint Venture Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies reported today.

rental affordability chart

Trends in home sales chart

Young adults living with a parent chart

The latest U.S. Census Bureau data for those in the 18-to-34 age group from 2009 to 2013 shows that 32.4 percent of Silicon Valley young adults live with a parent, compared with 34.5 percent in California and 30.3 percent in the U.S. Young adults are also better educated and marrying later than their counterparts in 1980, not only here but also statewide and nationally.

Over the past five years, a third of those aged 18 to 34 were married, compared to 31 percent in California and 34 percent in the United States. In 1980, 53 percent of Silicon Valley young adults married before age 34 and the rate has dropped steadily since.

“It’s surprising to see as many young adults in Silicon Valley living at home as in the rest of the nation, given the growth of jobs and income here,” said Rachel Massaro, Joint Venture vice president and senior research associate for the Institute.

“But the trend to marry later appears to be keeping them at home longer everywhere,” she said. “At the same time, over half of the young adults in Silicon Valley come from out of state, so they are faced with increased housing costs and lack the option of moving in with their parents.”

The latest data is part of the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, with a special focus on “Young Adults: Then and Now.” The Institute for Regional Studies extrapolates county-by-county data from the survey to arrive at regional totals for Silicon Valley.

Other findings in the latest data include:

  • Education: It is estimated that 36 percent of all Silicon Valley young adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared with 34 percent in 2000, 26 percent in 1990, and only 21 percent in 1980.
  • Housing: There is good news for Silicon Valley renters. Recent analysis by the institute of Census, Zillow and RealFacts data showed that income gains (between 2012 and 2013) outpaced increases in rental rates. From 2012 to 2013, rental rates increased on average $171 per month, or $2,052 more per year. During the same time period, median income rose by $3,203 in Silicon Valley, indicating that income gains exceed rental rate increases by nearly $100 per month.
  • However, income gains would need to have been 50 percent greater to accommodate home price increases between 2012 and 2013, based on estimated mortgage payments at the average 30-year fixed rates.
  • During that time period, Silicon Valley median home prices increased by $104,000, spiking mortgage payments for new homeowners by nearly $400 per month (more than $4,700 per year). This increase is $1,500 more than the median household income gains that year, indicating the difficulty that existing Silicon Valley residents faced when trying to purchase homes in the area.
  • Over the past year, trends have been similar. Silicon Valley median home prices jumped from $684,527 in 2013 to $764,420 in October 2014, an increase of more than $80,000, and the total number of homes sold decreased correspondingly. For first-time homebuyers, this could amount to a monthly mortgage payment increase of over $300, or around $3800 per year.

The Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies is an arm of Joint Venture Silicon Valley that produces the annual Silicon Valley Index and other independent reports on the region’s economic and societal trends.

About Joint Venture Silicon Valley

Joint Venture Silicon Valley was established in 1993. A nonprofit organization, the group convenes the region’s leaders across every major sector – government, business, academia, labor, and community organizations. The organization provides data and analysis on our region’s challenges, and leads initiatives to address those challenges. Joint Venture is funded by cities and counties, local companies, colleges and universities, labor and workforce institutions and foundations. For more information, visit www.jointventure.org.

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