People still prefer sons to daughters

Moving out of the parental home: When children leave home

In Germany, 28 percent of 25-year-olds still live with their parents, according to data from the Federal Statistical Office. This also confirms a cliché: sons leave "Hotel Mama" much older than daughters. A fact that applies in almost every EU country.

  1. Retirement age: Four percent of 40-year-old men still live with their parents
  2. Departure age in Northern Europe is significantly lower than in the Southeast
  3. Independence versus family

There are prejudices that are confirmed again and again. Sometimes through my own acquaintances, sometimes through very official figures. Current data from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) on the age at which you move out confirm that sons in almost all EU countries leave their parents' home later than daughters. The only exception: Luxembourg.

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The behavior of young adults moving out has hardly changed in the past 20 years, Destatis recently announced in Wiesbaden. In 2019, 28 percent of 25-year-olds were still living under the same roof with their parents. In 2000 the proportion was 30 percent.

Retirement age: Four percent of 40-year-old men still live with their parents

While last year only 21 percent of the daughters stayed in "Hotel Mama" at the age of 25, it was 34 percent for the sons. Even at the age of 30, the proportion of men living in the parental home is significantly higher: 13 percent of single men still live in their parents' household, but only five percent of women. Four percent of 40-year-old men still live with their parents. For women at this age it is only one percent.

The proportion of young adults who still live in their parents' house is significantly higher in rural areas. The proportion of 20 to 25-year-olds who still lived with their parents in Lower Saxony was 47 percent in 2019. In Hamburg, however, only 32 percent. The distribution is similar between Brandenburg (47 percent) and Berlin (36 percent).

Departure age in Northern Europe is significantly lower than in the Southeast

On average, young adults in Germany move out at the age of 23.7. That is slightly below the EU average of 25.9 years. If one compares the move-out behavior across Europe, then young northern Europeans in particular are drawn out of their parents' home at an early age. In Sweden, the average age of departure is 17.8 years, in Denmark 21.1 years and in Finland 21.8 years.

In southern and eastern European countries, children stay with their parents for a comparatively long time. In Croatia, the front runner among nestlings, young adults do not move out until an average of 31.8 years, in Slovakia at 30.9 years, in Italy at 30.1 years and in Bulgaria at 30 years.

Independence versus family

The big differences within the EU are also due to the fact that youth unemployment is much higher in southern and eastern Europe than in the northern member states. But cultural differences also contribute to the major differences. In Scandinavia, independence is very important, as Dirk Konietzka, professor of sociology at the TU Braunschweig, tells the "Süddeutsche Zeitung". In the south, however, the focus is on the value of the family.

In addition, the home ownership rate is comparatively high in countries where young adults live with their parents for a long time. That means: Renting an apartment is more difficult there. And young people need more money to move out than in countries where the rent rate is high.

In the EU average, the age at which you move out has fallen slightly since 2010, as in Germany. From 26.1 years to 25.9 years last year. It is therefore a myth that more and more young people are staying with their parents for longer. In Germany the average age ten years ago was 24.1; in 2019 it was 23.7 years. In Germany, young women move out at an average of 22.9 years with their parents, young men at 24.4 years.