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Leaving home: The facts

Young people in southern and eastern Europe continue to stay with their parents longer than other Europeans

29-30 years old was the average age of Slovakians, Italians and Greeks leaving home, even before the recession, according to the most recent statistics from Eurostat, (2007). For men it takes longer with the average Bulgarian, Slovenian and Slovakian man staying at home until they are a 31.5 years old.

In contrast, the average home-leaving age in Finland, France and the Netherlands was around 23, although again men leave the nest slightly later than women.

One in three men and one in five women aged 25 – 34 in the 27 EU member states live with their parents.

Students at home

Just six per cent of all Danish university students lived at home in 2010, according to statistics obtained by the University Post from the Ministry of Science. This was up one percentage point over previous years. Others, however, put the figure even lower. A 2011 multiple country study by, has only four per cent of Danish students living with parents.

The same study found that nearly 73 per cent of Italian students and 51 per cent of Spanish students live at home. Greece was not included in this survey.

Why do more southern Europeans live with their parents?

Studies point to several reasons why more students live at home in southern Europe than in, say, Scandinavia.

Here are a few of them:
• The average age of the student body in Northern Europe is older
• Southern European students are less wealthy
• Northern European universities are often in provinces and regions away from the place where parents live
• Northern European students are more eligible for government grants and support (like the Danish ‘SU’)

Nice to live with mum and dad

Living at home is not all bad. European students who live with their parents are actually happy with this form of housing, according to the Eurostudent study. 90 per cent of Latvian and Italian students, for example, class themselves as very satisfied with living with their parents.

In 18 countries at least 75 per cent of the students who live in their parents’ home are either satisfied or very satisfied with their accommodation.

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