More young adults living with their parents due to “perfect storm” of high inflation and rental costs in Denmark

Expert urges government to prioritise affordable housing for young people in the university towns

The proportion of young people aged 20-24 living with their parents has grown by 8 percentage points in just one year. 

Today, almost a third live with their parents. According to Danmarks Statistik, it is the highest proportion since it began collecting data in 1986. 

Young people are still leaving home, but at a later age. While 63 percent of 20-year-olds still give their parents’ home as their address, only 12 percent of 24-year-olds do so. 

Making a bad situation worse
For students living in one of Denmark’s big cities, high inflation has exacerbated a situation already at boiling point due to high accommodation costs. 

Not only are fewer parents buying accommodation for their children to live in – in recent years it has been seen as a shrewd investment – but rooms previously leased out to youngsters are more likely to be rented via Airbnb to tourists.

“It is the perfect storm for the students,” commented Curt Lilliegren, the head of Boligøkonomisk Videncenter. “When one’s books become more expensive, and food becomes more expensive, and transport becomes more expensive, then it can have the effect that young people give up on having their own home.”

Potentially bad news for parents too
According to Lilliegren, there is no lack of will on the youngsters’ behalf – they would dearly like to have the independence that comes with living away from their parents. 

Mette Lykke Nielsen from Center for Ungdomsforskning concurs, pointing out their parents can also end up suffering.

“Many parents experience great joy when their young people stay, but it can also be a burden because parents like to see their children move on and start an adult life,” she said.

Lilliegren urges the government to “prioritise housing for young people in the university towns … which is almost impossible to pay if you are at SU”.