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Less than one-fourth of Basque youths aged 16 to 29 have left home

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This is one of the main conclusions of the "The Emancipation of Basque Youths 2017” report recently published by the Basque Youth Observatory. This study is based on almost 2000 interviews with young people aged 16 to 34 residing in the Basque Country.

The percentage of emancipated young people fell between 2013 and 2017.

Evolution of the percentage of emancipated people aged 16 to 29 in the Basque Country (%)

Source: Basque Youth Observatory (The emancipation of Basque Youths 2017)

Most young people in the Basque Country leave home to live with their partners, with or without children. A single person certainly finds it difficult to leave home alone due to the cost of housing (owned or rented) and to the wages young people earn, particularly between the ages of 16 and 29.

The difficulties to leave home may be at the root of the increase in the option of living with friends, which has risen from 18.0% in 2011 to 24.9% in 2017 among emancipated people under the age of 30.

Distribution of emancipated youths aged 16 to 29 based on their living arrangements (%)

Source: Basque Youth Observatory (The Emancipation of Basque Youths 2017)

In any case, the price of housing and the employment and economic situation of young people do not seem to explain the emancipation phenomenon completely. The fluctuations seen in recent years in the cost of housing and in occupancy rates and salaries have not resulted in changes in the emancipation of young people in the Basque Country, which leads us to think that there are cultural values and reasons that establish a time threshold that cannot be bridged. Hence, the average age of emancipation in the Basque Country has remained the same for decades and stands at around 30 years of age. This threshold lies somewhere between the point when people finish their studies (higher studies) and achieve job stability, a process that is taking increasingly more time.

The complete report can be found on the Basque Youth Observatory’s website.

The Basque Youth Observatory 

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