Hispanic Millennials: Living at Home, Delaying Marriage, and Focusing on College

by Erica Saylor, Tr3s

In last week’s blog post, we focused on how US-born Hispanics are driving population growth. This week, we’re going to give some more detail on what their lives look like – and it’s quite different from the Hispanics 18-34 of ten years ago. Not only have those born in the US surpassed immigrants as the dominant group within the Latino young adult demo, the formerly ascendant economy has taken a hit. Because of the tight job market, Hispanic Millennials’ lives have taken some unexpected turns.

In this post, Tr3s will be revealing some preliminary findings from its soon-to-be-released Hispanic Adult Millennial study that focuses on the subjects of work and play. Other information is from another recent Tr3s report, “The Latinization of America … A ‘Next Normal’ Exploration.”

From those analyses, here are some insights on what life is like for today’s Hispanic Adult Millennials:

Almost half haven’t left home. Today, 45% of Hispanics 18-34 live with their parents. They are almost 20% more likely than non-Hispanic whites in the same age group to reside in a multi-generational household. Among bilingual, bicultural Hispanics 18-29, the majority (59%) live at home.

Lack of money is their main reason for not moving out. With good jobs hard to come by, as well as a sense that “anything can happen,” Hispanic Adult Millennials are risk-averse when it comes to their finances. As a result, many are putting off forming their own households until they feel they’re on more stable ground.

Living at home is a way of pooling resources with people in their core “circle of trust.” In the past, Hispanics’ trust circles were broader and included their families, romantic partners, good friends, and business/community leaders. Today, it’s all about true blood – and for those living at home, that means close family members. Pooling resources is about survival in tough times, and Hispanic young adults are hunkering down with the people who are closest to them.

The marriage rate is falling fast, but many are pooling resources with romantic partners. A third of Hispanic young adults today are married – down 17% since 2008. However, those who aren’t living with their parents are pooling resources with their romantic partners instead (4 in 10 are unmarried and reside with a romantic partner). Very few Hispanic Adult Millennials are going it alone – just 12% live by themselves.

They’re very focused on college, with the goal of getting good jobs. Hispanic young adults see higher education as the top way to avoid unemployment and underemployment. Today, 49% of Hispanics 18-24 are enrolled in college – a higher enrollment rate than non-Hispanic whites (47%).

Those in college are making frugal choices that reduce their debt load. Hispanics are more than twice as likely as non-Hispanics to go to a two-year community college (44% of Hispanics, 21% of non-Hispanics). They’re more likely to live at home with family while studying (79% of Hispanics, 51% of non-Hispanics) and less likely to take up residence in a dorm (9% of Hispanics, 24% of non-Hispanics).

Source: 2012 and 2014 Tr3s Hispanic Adult Millennial Studies; Simmons (2008-2013); Pew Hispanic Center (2011/2012)

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