The process by which young people leave home in South Africa is central for understanding the lives of the country's young adult population, as well as, their role in the structural household change that has occurred over the post-apartheid period. However, hardly any quantitative work has been conducted on this process and no work exists on trends. This study provides nationally representative trends of home-leaving for young adults in South Africa for the first time using a stacked series of annual cross-sections between 1995 and 2011. Different home-leaving rates by race converged in the late 90s and steadied in the 2000s. Most South Africans only left home by age 25—but whether this can be interpreted as ‘delayed’ or not is complicated by diverse family patterns and the presence of stretched households. Home-leavers are especially dependent on labour market income in the absence of social grants targeted at the large unemployed young adult population. Since young women face higher unemployment rates than young men, women were notably more reliant than men on marriage as a pathway out of the parental home. Over time, young male home-leavers are living alone at higher rates, meaning they have contributed to general household proliferation.