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Almost half of Maltese young people aged 25 to 34 live with their parents, placing Malta among the top four countries in the Western world where young adults take longer to fly the nest.

According to data compiled by Eurostat and UK and US statistics, 48.9 per cent of young adults in Malta live with the family. Malta is only surpassed by Slovakia – 56.6 per cent; Bulgaria – 52.8 per cent; and Greece – 51.6 per cent. By contrast, in Denmark only 1.8 per cent of 20 and 30-somethings stay at home.

The data also reveals how over the past five years more Maltese young adults are opting to extend their stay at home, with an increase of 6.3 per cent of the bracket age deciding not to move out.

Most other countries, including those affected by the economic crisis such as Greece and Italy, have also registered an increase. But the phenomenon has also hit countries like the UK, where one in four young adults – especially men – now live with their parents.

The average Maltese home – at €186,643 – is about €7,000 more than the euro area average

These figures are clearly influenced by cultural rather than economic factors. In countries which are predominantly Catholic or Mediterranean, the prevalence of staying at home is higher than the Nordic and Scandinavian countries, indicating differing attitudes towards marriage and cohabitation. Trends can be linked to marriage – when traditionally a couple move to a new nest, and house prices.

Malta has recently registered one of the highest crude marriage rates in the EU: only six people for every 1,000 got married in 2011, a rate only surpassed in Cyprus and in Lithuania.

Moreover, according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe the average marriage age in Malta is now 30 for men and 27 for women.

There is also the matter that the average Maltese home – at €186,643 – is about €7,000 more than the euro area average. According to figures released by the Central Bank in the last three months, local property prices increased 1.1 per cent.

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