With the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Europe during the first months of 2020, most of the governments imposed restrictive measures to people mobility and physical distance (the lockdown), which severely impacted on the economic activities and performance of many countries. Thus, the health emergency turned rapidly into in an economic crisis. The COVID-19 crisis in Europe increased the uncertainty about the economic recovery and the end of health emergency. This situation is supposed to have conditioned individuals’ life course path with the effect of inducing people to postpone or to abandon many life plans. This paper aims to explore and describe whether the rise of health emergency due to the COVID-19 has delayed or vanished young people’s intention to leave the parental home, in order to establish their own household, during 2020 in five European countries: Italy, Germany, France, Spain and the UK. Using data from an international survey from the “Youth Project”, carried out by the Toniolo Institute of Advanced Studies, this paper implements generalized logistic models for ordinal dependent variables to investigate the factors associated with a possible revision of the choice of leaving the parental home for a representative sample of 6000 respondents aged 18 to 34, interviewed between March and April 2020. In particular, we compare the effect of the occupational condition and the perceived income and employment vulnerability on the chance of confirmation, postponement or abandonment of the pre-pandemic plan across the five selected European countries. Results show that Italy, Spain and the UK are the countries with the highest probability of a downward revision of the intentions of leaving the nest. Especially in these countries, having negative expectations about changes in the individual’s and family’s future income is associated with the choice of abandoning the purpose of leaving the parental home. However, the vulnerability of the category of temporary workers particularly arises in Southern European countries: young people with precarious jobs seem to be the most prone to negatively revise their intentions of leaving, even compared with those not working.
- Leaving parental home