Portuguese youngsters stay too long with parents

The European foreign debt crisis is making it harder for young Europeans to move out of their parents’ home.

New data from the Eurostat shows the percentage of those aged 25 to 34 still living with their parents in 21 countries and Portugal ranks 5th in the list with 46.3% young people still living at home.

Portugal is surpassed only by Slovakia (56.4%), Bulgaria (55.7%), Malta (51.9%) and Greece (50.7%). In the UK, 15.1% of the youths are still living with their parents while in Ireland the figure is 21.3%.

Sociologist Moisés Espírito Santo is not surprised by the results, claiming that in Portugal there has always been a certain cultural difficulty to accept or promote youth emancipation.

Youngsters don’t know how to live alone, neither do their parents teach them how to be free and autonomous. There was a certain immaturity amongst young people, manifest in a tendency to live on their parents’ money, he added.

The data shows a gap between the northern countries and the south eastern countries, the most affected by the economic crisis.

In Scandinavian countries like Finland (4.1%), Sweden (4.1%) or Denmark (1.9%), fewer than 5% of youngsters are still living with their parents.

Espírito Santo believes that there aren’t yet housing options for single people in Portugal while psychologist Quintino Aires claims that living longer with parents may provoke a “terrible gap between life phases” because youngsters fail to mature properly.