What Empty Nest? It’s a story that’s been developing for several years now—more and more young adults are moving back home with their parents (or never leaving in the first place). Now the U.S. Census Bureau has data: In America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2011, the bureau reports that between 2005-2011, the number of 25-34 year old men living at home rose from 14 to 19 percent. The number of women doing so went from 8 to 10 percent. The number of even younger adults, those 18-24, living at home also rose—4 percent for women, and 6 percent for men. That brings the percentages of 18-24 year olds living with their parents to a whopping 59 percent of young men and 50 percent of young women.
Partly, this surge in so-called ‘boomerang children‘ (get it?—because they leave and then come back, like a boomerang, but also a play on the fact that these are mostly children of boomers) is due to the recession; today’s young adults face poor job prospects and rising rents. Census graphs show that the uptick in boomerang kids began slightly before the 2008 economic meltdown, but the number really began to spike around the beginning of 2009.
But I don’t think we should discount how much changing social norms play a factor, too: Whereas a young adult moving back in with his or her parents may have once been ashamed, embarrassed, seen as a failure, the fact that so many are now doing it has reduced the stigma a little (even 25-year-old New York Knicks player Andy Rautins is living at home). Many young adults see staying with parents a little longer as the smart or prudent decision—why waste money on rent if you don’t have to? Living at home allows them to save up money—for education, marriage (it can’t hurt this trend that young adults are marrying later than ever), a place of their own.
The increase in 25 to 34 year olds living in their parents’ home began before the recent recession, and has continued beyond it,” said the report’s author, Rose Kreider, a family demographer with the Census Bureau’s Fertility and Family Statistics Branch.
We’ve covered this trend a lot around these parts—check out our guide to dealing with boomerang kids, radio program on ‘How to Raise Your Adult Child,’ or the AARP Public Policy Institute’s report on multigenerational households.
Friday Quick Hits:
- Is going gray glamorous these days? Lately, actresses such as Jamie Lee Curtis, Helen Mirren, Sharon Stone, Diane Keaton and Vanessa Redgrave are proudly rocking heads of gray, silver and white hair.
- Prolonged sitting could increase your risk of developing breast or colon cancer. A new analysis claims more than 90,000 new cancer cases a year may be due to physical inactivity and prolonged periods of sitting.
- The death toll from listeria-tainted cantaloupe has reached 29 people, making this the deadliest listeria outbreak since 1924, the CDC says.
- And is a ‘retirement crisis‘ closing in on boomers? Reuters says yes. “According to our projections, it looks like most middle-class workers, not just low-income workers but most middle-class workers, will be living at or near the poverty level in their old age,” Teresa Ghilarducci, a retirement specialist and economics professor, told the paper. “This is the first time since the Great Depression we are looking at poverty rates increasing among the elderly.”
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