(Bloomberg) — Record numbers of young, unmarried couples are moving in together. They’re doing it for love — and money.
More than 11% of Americans aged 18 to 24 lived with a romantic partner who’s not a spouse last year, the highest share ever, according to Census Bureau data. That’s about 3.2 million people, roughly 650,000 more than before the pandemic.
The need to save money served as a tipping point for many young couples who turned to cohabiting sooner than they might have otherwise, with inflation driving up the cost of almost everything from groceries to gas, and rent prices hovering near record highs.
A recent Realtor.com survey found that money was a main factor behind the decision to move in together for 80% of Gen Z couples. About one in four of the total respondents said living with a partner allowed them to save more than $1,000 a month.
Read more: High US Housing Costs Are Forcing Some Romantic Decisions
Kerry Eller, a graduate student at Duke University, moved in with her boyfriend after he relocated from Boston to North Carolina last summer when they were both 22. Together, they pay $1,200 rent in a house they share with three other roommates.
“The cost of rent is just sky high in Durham compared to at least grad-student salaries,” said Eller, whose partner works in finance. “Financially, it would suck to be in two different places, but also I feel like it wouldn’t really have made sense for him to move here and be living in a separate apartment.”