The proportion of young people aged 18-24 living with their parents was 55.5% in 2021 and has not been lower since 2004. The proportion reached a peak in 2016 (62.2%) but has been decreasing since then. In the age group 25-29, 22.5% lived with their parents in 2021, but from 2004 to 2021, the proportion was only higher in 2020 or 25.2%.
In both age groups, men were more likely to live with their parents than women in 2021. The proportion was 46.3% for women aged 18-24 and 63.6% for men. For people aged 25-29, the proportion was 21.1% for women and 23.6% for men. Comparison between 2004 and 2021 shows that the proportion was similar among men but the proportion of women living with their parents has more than doubled.
The proportion of young people aged 18-29 living with their parents was higher in the Capital region in 2021 than in other regions. The percentage of men living with their parents was 51.2% in the Capital region compared with 44.7% in other regions. The rate was 45.4% for women living in the Capital region compared with 24.9% for women living in other regions.
In the European Union countries, 80.0% of young people aged 18-24 lived with their parents, compared with 55.5% in Iceland. The proportion of people living in their parents' homes was considerably lower in the Nordic countries (shown in the picture below) than in other European countries, with the lowest proportion in Denmark (34.1%), Sweden (40.4%) and Finland (42.0%). The proportion is highest in Croatia (95.9%), Italy (95.6%) and Portugal (94.5%).
In the age group 25-29, Iceland is still below the average of the European Union countries, with 22.5% compared with 42.1%. The proportion of people aged 25-29 living with their parents is lowest in Denmark (5.0%), Finland (6.9%) and Sweden (7.5%), while the proportion is highest in Croatia (77.0 %), Greece (74.3%) and Italy (71.5%).
Unemployment among young people
The unemployment rate was 8.8% for both men and women aged 18-29 in 2021, but since 2003 men have been more likely to be unemployed. In 2016-2021, unemployment increased for both sexes, but the figures for 2022 indicate that the unemployment rate is decreasing.
Young people neither in employment nor in education and training 6.3%
In 2021, it was estimated that 6.3% of young people in Iceland aged 16-24 were neither in employment nor in education and training (NEET). In 2021, 6.9% of men aged 16-24 were neither in employment nor in education and training, compared with 5.6% of women.
Young people aged 16-24 who do not live with their parents are more than twice as likely to be neither in employment nor in education and training than those living with their parents. In 2021, 12.8% of young people who did not live with their parents were not in employment nor in education and training, compared with 5.0% of those who lived with their parents.
In 2021, the rate of young people in Iceland not in employment, education or training (6.3%) was lower than the average for young people in the other European Union countries (10.8%). The proportion of people not in employment nor education or training was lowest in the Netherlands (5.1%) and Sweden (5.1%), while the proportion was highest in Romania (18.0%) and Italy (19.8%).
About the data
The figures about young people living with their parents are from the Statistics Iceland’s Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC). All figures for 2019-2021 are preliminary.
People are considered to live with their parents if they share a home with one or both parents. When interpreting the results, we assumed that people between the ages of 18 and 29 who live in their parents' homes either did not move out or moved back in with their parents. However, it cannot be ruled out that in some cases this has gone the other way, that parents have moved in with their child. Reasons for this can be, for example, financial constraints or illness.
The figures about young people not in employment, education or training (NEET) and unemployment are based on the Labour force survey conducted by Statistics Iceland. Since the Labour force survey is a sample survey there is a need to account for uncertainty.
Due to improved weights in the labour force survey of Statistics Iceland, there is a discrepancy between the published figures on the Statistics Iceland website and on the website of Eurostat.