Here's the stereotype: Across the country, basements are full of 20- and 30-somethings who graduated from college and now live with mom and dad because they can't find a job.
The reality? Millions of the millennials who are stuck in their parents' homes don't have a college degree and can't get a break in this harsh economy, a new analysis of government data shows.
Just ask Levi Oleson.
The 26-year-old once dreamed of being a pilot. Then the flight school he was attending went bankrupt, leaving him with $60,000 in debt but not enough training to start his career. A broken leg put him $10,000 deeper in the debt hole.
So now he's living with his mom and dad again, and working as many as 70 hours a week cleaning sewers instead of soaring through the skies.
"I never thought I'd be in this position. I'm about to turn 27 and I always thought (by now) I'd be on my own and have my own things going," he said.
A Pew Research Center analysis released earlier this month found that 40 percent of 18- to 31-year-olds with a high school degree or less, and 43 percent of those with some college education, were living at their parents' home in 2012.
That compares with just 18 percent of millennials with a college degree who were living at home in 2012.
(Read more: What were moms doing during the recession? Yelling)
"This phenomenon of increasingly living with mom and/or dad, this is more concentrated among the less educated," said Richard Fry, a senior economist with Pew Research Center.
About 40 percent of young men in that age range were living at home, compared to 32 percent of young women. That follows a long-term trend of young men being more likely to live longer with their parents than young women.
The analysis of the government's Current Population Survey data includes people who are going to college and living either at home or in college dorms, which partly explains why so many younger, less-educated millennials are counted as living at home.
(Read more: Why more parents are choosing 'one and done')
But a closer look shows a sharper surge in non-college educated millennials ages 25 to 31 who are still in their parents' homes.
Pew's analysis found that 19 percent of 25- to 31-year-olds with a high school degree or less were living at home in 2012, up from 15 percent in 2007. By comparison, 12 percent of 25- to 31-year-olds with a bachelor's degree or more were living at home in 2012, a statistically insignificant change from 11 percent in 2007.
There's also been a sharper increase in 25- to 31-year-olds with some college education living at home. Their ranks increased from 14 percent in 2007 to 17 percent in 2012.