Two out of three Greeks aged 18-34 live with their parents, according to recent Eurostat data. Greece ranks 6th in a list of 35 European countries where young people live under parental care.
According to a recent survey by the European Statistical Office (most data date back to 2019), the average number of young people aged 18-34 living with parents in European Union countries is close to 50%.
In Greece and Italy the corresponding percentage is 69.4% – an increase of 8.7 points from 2011 – while in the lowest rates are the Scandinavian and Northern European countries, such as Denmark with 17.2% and Finland with 19, 5%.
“In Central and Northern European countries, it is taken for granted that when a child turns 18, he or she will leave the parents’ home, it marks adulthood,” Antigoni Lymperaki, a professor of economics at Panteion University, told daily kathimeirni.
In Greece, the mentality is very different.
“We have a very traditional image of the roles, the value of the person who lives alone because he is independent does not have much of a trend in Greece,” Lymperaki said. The prevailing mentality in the country is that parents are responsible for the child until he or she gets married – regardless of the age of the “child” in question.
“Or until the adults can no longer offer, and the direction of support changes and children take the parents’ role,” she added.
This mentality “prefers the child to stay with the parents who pay the bills, and the ‘child’ spends more or less what he earns for personal expenses.”
Lymperaki explained that the financial crisis and the coronavirus crisis had intensified these social phenomena that already existed before. “The influence of the financial crisis has been significant. There is a return home; the crisis has done that,” she said, adding that the pandemic, although the specifics are not taken into account, contributed to the return home and why getting married has been delayed.
Compared to other European countries, it seems that in Greece young people are slower to leave their parents’ home, as in the ranking of 18-24 the country is in 14th place. In the age group 25-34, it rises to 6th place, with 57.8% of this age group living with their parents.
It is also observed that more men live with their parents than women.
77.1% of Greek men aged 18-34 have not left home, with the corresponding percentage for women being 61.8%.