Young Irish ‘failing to launch adult lives’: 68% of people in late 20s still living with parents

Opposition parties say latest Eurostat data paints ‘bleak picture’ and shows for many ‘Ireland feels like no country for young people’

Opposition parties have renewed their criticism of the Government’s handling of the housing crisis after new figures showed that more than two thirds of young adults in Ireland are still living with their parents.

According to Eurostat, the statistical body of the European Union, 68 per cent of people aged between 25-29 in Ireland still live at home. This figure is nearly 26 per cent higher than the EU average of 42.1.

According to a new interactive tool released on Eurostat’s website on Friday, more young men aged 25-29 live at home in Ireland than women. Some 73.9 per cent of men in that age range in Ireland live with their parents, with 61.1 per cent of women of the same age still living at home. The EU average for men and women aged 25-29 is 48 and 36 per cent, respectively.

Ivana Bacik, Labour’s leader and spokesperson for housing, said that the figures illustrate how young people in Ireland are “failing to launch their adult lives”.


“The number of those living at home with their parents has doubled in a decade, and Ireland is way above the EU average,” she said. “Today’s figures reveal the stark social consequences of the housing crisis, which represents a lived reality for too many of our young people.

“Despite record employment levels, too many young adults in Ireland today are barely getting by. They are working hard, paying taxes and contributing to society, yet for far too many, Ireland feels like no country for young people.”

Cian O’Callaghan, deputy leader and housing spokesperson for the Social Democrats, said the figures paint a “very bleak picture of what it’s like to be a young adult in Ireland today”.

Pointing to countries such as Denmark where only 4.4 per cent of people aged 25-29 live with their parents, Mr O’Callaghan says the Irish Government has overseen “a monumental failure to provide people with access to affordable housing”.

“There are good examples of solutions in other European countries, in Denmark, for instance, young people have access to a wide range of high-quality social, affordable and student accommodation options,” he said. “It is hardly a coincidence that 25 to 29-year-olds in Ireland are now 15 times more likely to be still living with their parents than those in Denmark.

“If high-quality, affordable housing is not provided, emigration will increasingly become the only option for young adults who want to set up a life of their own.”

People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy has called on the Government to bring in rent controls and “commence a mass construction campaign of public and affordable housing on public land.”

“With the average rent in Dublin now at €2,300, nearly 60 per cent of the national median monthly income, people are finding that it is literally impossible to save for a mortgage and pay rent,” he said.

“Young people who have been forced to move back in with their parents in order to save for a deposit feel that they are stuck. This is a chronic problem which the current government has no answer for.”

Nathan Johns

Nathan Johns

Nathan Johns is an Irish Times journalist