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Wednesday 7 June 2023 Dublin: 13°C
Factfind: How many adults under 30 are still living at home with their parents?
Election candidates have been talking about their plight during the campaign – how big an issue is it?

HOUSING HAS BEEN high on the agenda during this general election campaign and all of the main parties have regularly raised the difficulty for young adults in finding an affordable place to rent or buy.

In particular, many – including Fine Gael – have spoken about those who are either still living with their parents, or who have moved back home, because of soaring rents and property prices. 

At the launch of her party’s manifesto this week, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said a whole generation of young people “are now locked out of home ownership, thinking about emigrating and moving back in with their parents in their thirties”. 

So, exactly how many young adults are living in the family home?

The Home Sweet Home campaign recently claimed that as many as 70% of under 30s in Ireland live with parents. 

We asked HSH where this figure came from and they cited Eurostat figures from 2018

The Eurostat figures show 78% of 16-29-year-olds in Ireland were living at home with their parents in 2018. This compares to the EU-28 average of 67%. 

The Eurostat data does not single in on the 18-29-year-old group, so the above figures include teenagers as well as young adults.

And it is not unusual for teenagers in Ireland to remain living with their parents up until they turn 18 and beyond. 

According to this data, 40% of 25-29-year-olds were living at home.

The 2016 Census in Ireland also looked at this area.

It found at the time that there were 344,362 people aged 18-29 living with their parents. This accounts for 50% of the adults aged under 30.

The total number of over 18s living at home was 458,000 – 58.6% were men. In terms of principal economic status 215,088 were at work while 66,516 were unemployed. A further 152,269 were students.


While there were 23,571 persons at age 25 living at home this had fallen to 11,299 by age 30. 

Five years earlier in 2011, 43.5% of 18-29-year-olds were living at home, according to the CSO.  

There are no more recent figures for 18-29-year-olds, but the rise in Census statistics since 2011 and the numbers cited in the Eurostat data give an indication of an increase over the years. 


The parties’ election manifestos all contain policies aimed at addressing the shortage of and affordability of housing in Ireland.

These are just some of them:

  • Fine Gael has pledged to maintain and expand on the Help to Buy scheme and Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan. It has also committed to developing cost rental accommodation and encouraging landlords to provide long-term tenancies.
  • Fianna Fáil has said it will help first-time buyers by reforming the planning system for cuckoo funds that are buying up entire apartment blocks or housing estates. For private renters, they’ve promised a tax credit, a ban on co-living developments and overhauling the Residential Tenancies Board. 
  • Sinn Féin claims it will reduce rents by up to €1,500 a year with a refundable tax credit. It would also freeze rents for three years. 
  • Labour has said it would freeze and cap rents until enough homes are built to address the crisis, and keep land in public ownership for construction. It would also bring in long-term leases for renters. 
  • The Green Party has said it will implement a cost-rental model, call for a referendum on the right to housing and review the Fair Deal Scheme to incentives people to rent out empty properties. 
  • Social Democrats would use public land to build affordable homes and legislate for indefinite rental contracts. 
  • People Before Profit has said it would hold a referendum to insert a ‘right to housing’ in the Irish Constitution. The party would also implement a rent freeze.

With one week left to go now in this campaign, housing is likely to continue to dominate the agenda right up until people step into the polling booths. 

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