Our country ranks among the EU countries in which young people are separated from their parents relatively late
In 2021, young men in Bulgaria left their native home at an average age of 32 years, and women – at 28.5 years, according to Eurostat data.
The average age of separation of young people in our country from their parents last year was 30.3 years. This places our country in the group of European Union countries in which young people leave their parents’ households relatively late – after 30 years.
On average for the European Union, this age last year was 26.5 years.
This average varies considerably between different EU Member States. The highest average age was recorded in Portugal (33.6 years), Croatia (33.3 years), Slovakia (30.9 years), Greece (30.7 years) and Bulgaria (30.3 years).
At the other pole are Sweden (19 years), Finland (21.2 years), Denmark (21.3 years) and Estonia (22.7 years).
It is notable that in most northern and western countries young people leave their parents’ household on average in their early to mid-twenties, while in southern and eastern countries the average age is in their late twenties or early thirties.
Leaving one’s home is considered a milestone in the transition from childhood to adulthood. The reasons for this step can range from financial independence to study, work, moving in with a partner, getting married and having children, etc. However, the path to independence may not be easy and occurs at different ages in EU countries. This disparity may reflect the variety of challenges facing young people in Europe, as well as cultural differences between countries, Eurostat noted.
Men leave their home later than women
On average for the EU last year, men left their native home at the age of 27.4 years, and women – at 25.5 years. This tendency – for young women to separate from their parents earlier than young men – is observed in all countries. Men leave the parental household on average after the age of 30 in 11 EU countries (Croatia, Portugal, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Greece, Slovenia, Italy, Malta, Spain, Romania and Poland), while this is the case for women in only 2 countries ( Portugal and Croatia).
The largest gender gap in this respect was registered in Romania, where young men left home on average at 30.3 years and women at 25.6 years (4.7 years difference), followed by Bulgaria (3, 5 years difference), as men in our country separated from their parents at an average age of 32.0 years, and women – at 28.5 years.
The smallest gender gap is observed in Sweden, Denmark and Ireland – 0.4, 0.5 and 0.9 years respectively. The gender gap is more pronounced in countries where young people left the parental home later, and less pronounced in countries where it happened earlier.
Link to the labor market
Countries where young people separate from their parents at an older age are more likely to have lower labor force participation rates for young people (aged 15-29). For example, most countries where young people leave their home of birth over the age of 29 have labor force participation rates around or below 50%.