6. Change in the pattern of young adults' leaving home?

It is difficult to get a clear picture of when children leave home, as students were previously not officially considered as permanent residents of their place of study. They were recorded in the population register as living with their parents. In June 1994, a new Act entered into force entitling everyone to choose their official municipality of residence. Some students take advantage of this right. Children’s leaving home is described below by the number of those with the status of a child in the family. A child of a family can, however, live at home and bring his or her spouse to live with him/her or have a child, whereby the young person forming a family no longer has the status of a child in the parents’ family in the statistics but an adult in a family of his/her own. Such living arrangements are very rare in Finland.

Between 1985 and 1993, even before the entry into force of the new Act on the Municipality of Domicile, there was a steep fall in the percentage of young people with the status of a child. Even after the Act had taken effect their proportion continued to fall right up to the year 2009. In 2010, the proportion of those with the status of a child remained unchanged even though their number grew slightly.

Table 10. Young people aged 20 to 24 with the status of a child in 1985–2010

Year   Aged 20 to 24 Living with parents Those living with parents as proportion of all, %
Total        Boys      Girls      Total         Boys    Girls     Total Boys Girls
1985 377 267 192 738 184 529 203 186 126 280 76 906 53,9 65,5 41,7
1990 343 608 175 039 168 569 165 754 103 971 61 783 48,2 59,4 36,7
1995 305 051 156 008 149 043 126 448 79 642 46 806 41,5 51,0 31,4
2000 327 230 167 084 160 146 109 510 70 895 38 615 33,5 42,4 24,1
2005 333 936 170 710 163 226 96 473 63 875 32 598 28,9 37,4 20,0
2006 332 004 169 860 162 144 91 724 61 060 30 664 27,6 35,9 18,9
2007 327 266 167 344 159 922 88 109 58 520 29 589 26,9 35,0 18,5
2008 325 440 166 488 158 952 86 007 56 819 29 188 26,4 34,1 18,4
2009 324 472 165 988 158 484 85 080 55 871 29 209 26,2 33,7 18,4
2010 327 780 167 817 159 963 85 967 56 185 29 782 26,2 33,5 18,6

Girls leave their childhood home earlier than boys. Conscription may be one of the reasons why boys continue to live at home, but the difference is too large to be explained by that alone.

Today, as many as 68 per cent of girls but only 41 per cent of boys have moved away from home by the time they are 20. The aforementioned share fell by one percentage point among girls and by two percentage points among boys from the previous year.

Finland has a total of 58,000 persons who have turned 30 and hold the status of a child in their family, and 44,800, or 77 per cent, of them are men. The number of such persons with the status of a child and aged at least 30 decreased by around one thousand from the previous year.

Figure 11A. Young men aged 18 to 30 by family status in 2010

Figure 11A. Young men aged 18 to 30 by family status in 2010

Figure 11B. Young women aged 18 to 30 by family status in 2010

Figure 11B. Young women aged 18 to 30 by family status in 2010

Source: Population and Cause of Death Statistics, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Marjut Pietiläinen (09) 1734 2798, Timo Nikander (09) 1734 3250, vaesto.tilasto@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma


Updated 30.11.2011

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Families [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-3231. Annual Review 2010, 6. Change in the pattern of young adults' leaving home? . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 21.11.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/perh/2010/02/perh_2010_02_2011-11-30_kat_006_en.html