By the numbers

Parents who pay their grown children's bills: By the numbers

Once parents were supposed to take care of their kids until they left home. Now Mom and Dad are subsidizing their offspring well into their adult years

In the popular imagination, the money from mom and dad stops when you leave home at age 18 or soon thereafter. In reality, according to a new study, leaving home is optional, and the money flows to most young adults even if they do make their way into the big, wide world. Even more surprising, says lead author Patrick Wightman at the University of Minnesota, parents play favorites, and are "more likely to help those who, even at a young age, help themselves." Take that, common sense! Here's a look at the largesse of today's parents, by the numbers: 

62Percent of young adults (age 19-22) who get financial help from their parents

$12,185Average annual parental aid package that 62 percent receives

82Percent of high-income parents (earning $99,910 or more a year) who dole out help

$15,449Average annual assistance from the high-earners 

47Percent of low-income parents (earning less than $37,274 a year) who provide assistance

$2,113Average annual assistance from low-income parents

42Percent of all young adults who get help paying their bills (average $1,741 a year)

23Percent who get help with their cars (average $9,682 a year)

22Percent who get help with their rent (average $3,937 a year)

7Percent who get outright gifts from mom and dad (average $8,220 a year) 

35Percent of parents who help their adult children with college tuition (average $10,147 a year) 

66Percent of high-income parents who help with college tuition (average $12,877 a year) 

11Percent of low-income parents who help with tuition (average $5,788 a year, or 10 percent of income) 

65Percent of young adults who live at home for a significant part of each year 

12Age by which parents (subconsciously) decide if a child will get financial help as an adult; kids deemed cheerful, self-reliant, and easygoing had better shots at receiving parental largesse later in life

Sources: LiveScience, Mommyish, University of Michigan [PDF], USA Today

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