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A little pick-me-up from Gallup, Inc.: more than a quarter of people under the age of 35 live at home with their parents, including one-in-seven people between 24 and 35. And of the 24- to 34-year-olds that live with Mom and Dad, three-quarters are single and have never been married. That is a lot of people who are about to have an awkward Valentine's evening.

The numbers actually get a little worse, but we will start with the good news. When Gallup says "single," they don't mean "returning from work tonight to their parents who made a special dinner because they love you even if no one else does." Gallup means "unmarried," so it's possible that — what, half? of those one-in-seven 24-to-34-year-olds actually has a date tonight. Maybe two-thirds! Otherwise, the profile of the group fits a stereotype that was once reserved for the term "blogger." They are "less likely to be working full time." They are "more likely to be unemployed or underemployed." And they are "less likely to have graduated from college."

We went ahead and made a little graph that will make you feel better or worse depending on how you choose to look at this.

If you would like to guess whether or not someone lives at home with his parents, here, in increasing order of suggestiveness, are the things you should look for.

  • Did the person graduate from college? 38 percent of those not living with their parents did.
  • Are they employed full-time? Two-thirds of people with full-time jobs live on their own.
  • Are they married? The biggest gap between those that live on their own or with their parents is between those who are married and those who aren't. (Twelve percent of people who live with their parents are married, in case you were wondering.)

So. Get a college degree, get a full-time job, and get married. All pretty easy tasks, and then you'll be out of your parents' house in no time. But probably not by the end of Valentine's Day.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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