Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

No Need to Pay for TV if Mom and Dad Are Picking Up the Bill

jeff who lives at homePay TV subscriptions are flat. Maybe even down. And if you’re reading this blog, then odds are you think that’s because of cord-cutters and cord-nevers — people who are using iTunes, Netflix, YouTube, etc., instead of paying for TV.

Could be!

But there is also a much less exciting reason for sputtering pay TV subscriptions: Youngsters who should be living on their own are living with their parents. No need to pay for TV if Mom and Dad are already doing it.

People have pointed out this phenomenon before, but it tends to not get a lot of play on sites like this, which makes sense: Lots of people like to talk about how they’re using Netflix to give Comcast the finger; not as many like to talk about the fact that they’re in their twenties and living in the house they grew up in.

Here’s the newest set of data points, via a Pew Research study: 36 percent of 18-to-31-year-old “millennials” are living with their parents, up from 32 percent in 2007. That’s nearly 22 million people.

pew study millenials

This isn’t just an economic issue, by the way. Lots of youngsters have moved back because they can’t afford to live on their own, but Pew notes that this number also includes college kids, and there are more people in college than ever. The fact that people get married later in life has also likely goosed the number.


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