This paper examines patterns and determinants of the transition to residential independence among UK-born minority ethnic young adults aged 16-34. Longitudinal data from waves 1 and 2 of the United Kingdom Household Panel Survey are used to identify ethnic differences in the propensity to leave the parental home. White UK-born young adults have a much earlier home leaving pattern than minority ethnic groups. UK-born South Asian women tend not to leave to attend higher education, delaying their departure as a result of the postponement of marriage to later ages. Regression results suggest that the greater propensity of white young adults to leave home cannot be explained by parental or individual socio-economic resources, or by urbanicity. Evidence from younger teenagers who were asked for their ideal age at leaving home showed ethnic differences in preferences consistent with the behaviour of older peers suggesting that ethnic differences will persist into the future.