Girls tend to leave the parental home earlier than boys in almost all member states of the European Union, but the biggest gender gap was recorded in 2021 in Romania, according to data published on Thursday by the European Statistics Office (Eurostat). On average, Romanian men leave the parental home 5 years later than young women, which is the largest gap in the EU.
In 2021, across the European Union, young people left their parental household on average at the age of 26.5 years. However, this average varies among the different EU member states.
The oldest average ages, all at 30 years or higher, were recorded in Portugal (33.6 years), Croatia (33.3 years), Slovakia (30.9 years), Greece (30.7 years) and Bulgaria (30.3 years). By contrast, Sweden (19.0 years), Finland (21.2 years), Denmark (21.3 years) and Estonia (22.7 years) recorded the lowest average ages, all under 23 years old.
In most northern and western countries, young people left the parental home on average in their early to mid-twenties, while in southern and eastern countries, the average age was in the late twenties or early thirties.
Men left the parental home later than women
In the EU, on average, males left the parental household at the age of 27.4 years and females at 25.5 years in 2021. This trend was observed in all countries, i.e. young women moved out of the parental household on average earlier than young men.
Men left their parental home, 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 widest gender gap was found in Romania, where young males left at 30.3 years and females at 25.6 years (4.7 year gender gap), followed by Bulgaria (3.5 year gap), with males moving out at 32.0 years and females at 28.5 years. By contrast, Sweden, Denmark and Ireland recorded the narrowest gaps between young males and females leaving the parental home: 0.4, 0.5 and 0.9 years, respectively.
The gender gap was more pronounced in countries where young people left the parental home later and less apparent in countries where they left earlier.