Italians will on average continue living with mum and dad until they reach 30.1 years of age – the fourth highest figure in the EU.
Only millennials from Croatia, Malta, and Slovakia wait longer, while Scandinavians leave home the earliest. Swedes topped the table, flying the nest at just 19.7 years old, while the EU average was 26.1 years.
Overall, men tend to wait longer to leave home, and this trend was replicated in Italy, with the average Italian man moving out at the age of 31.3, compared to their female counterparts who typically lived alone by 29 years of age.
The age at which youngsters move out of the parental home was highest in southern European countries which have seen high levels of youth unemployment.
Italy’s youngest generation has been disproportionately affected by the economic crisis and ongoing employment crisis. In February, it dropped to 35.2 percent – the lowest level since 2012 – but this was due largely to an increase in people judged as ‘inactive’, such as students, rather than an increase in youth employment.Last year, for the first time, the millennial generation became the poorest in the country, data from Caritas showed. This rise in poverty has been linked to a number of other trends, such as the slowing birth rate and the rise in the average age at which youngsters fly the nest.
Eurostat statistics in October 2016 showed that less than a third of under-35’s in Italy had left their parental home, a figure 20 percentage points higher than the European average and surpassed only in Slovakia.
Young Italians were famously branded ‘bamboccioni‘ (big babies) by ex-Italian finance minister Tomasso Padoa-Schiopa in 2007 – a term which has stuck. However, in addition to economic worries, economists have argued that clingy parents are actually to blame for the high rate of young adults living at home.