March 20, 2012
Remember when moving back home with your parents marked you as earmarked for less-than-success? Not anymore, at least not among Generation Y where returning to the nest has become so common that it's led to the nickname the "Boomerang Generation."
According to a new survey published by the Pew Research Center, the weak economy has made living with mom and dad acceptable. According to the survey, which is based on telephone interviews with some 2,000 young adults nationwide, 61 percent of young adults aged 25 to 34 say they know someone who has moved back in with their parents because of economic conditions. Likewise, 29 percent of parents report that an adult child of theirs has moved back in during the last few years for the same reason.
"The share of Americans living in multi-generational family households is the highest it has been since the 1950s, having increased significantly in the past five years," stated the report. It was also noted that U.S. Census data shows that the 25 to 34 demographic are among the most likely Americans to be living in such arrangements.
The trend is not particularly surprising to many given a lackluster job market that, according to Life Inc., has hit young workers particularly hard. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that while unemployment for this group is declining, it was 8.7 percent in February, which is still above the 8.3 percent national average. Things do not look much different for younger generations either: according to The Huffington Post, a mere 54 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds currently have jobs, the worst unemployment rate for young adults since the government began tracking these numbers in 1948. Even those with jobs may be impacted.
"Adults in their late 20s and early 30s have fared somewhat better in the labor market, but they have felt the sting of tough economic times in other areas of their lives," the report stated. "Many have had to settle for jobs they didn't really want just to make ends meet. Fully a third have gone back to school, and an equal share (34 percent) have postponed either marriage, parenthood or both."
The survey results, however, show that despite the grim realities, those who have returned home are not just satisfied with their arrangement, they are actually optimistic: 77 percent of Gen Yers living at home say they either have enough money now to lead the kind of life they want or expect to in the future.
Parents report being content with this new multi-generational set-up as well. Life Inc. noted that 48 percent of adult children who live at home pay rent and 89 percent help with household expenses.
Compiled by Aimee Hosler
"Boomerang Generation: Living With Mom and Dad Is Not Uncool Anymore," huffingtonpost.com, March 19, 2012, Khadeeja Safdar
"For Gen Y, moving back with their parents is a LOL," lifeinc.today.msnbc.msn.com, March 15, 2012, Eve Tahmincioglu
"The Boomerang Generation," pewresearch.org, March 15, 2012