Research from Pew Research Center based on U.S. Census data shows that for the first time in more than 130 years, 18- to 34-year-olds are more likely to live with their parents than with a spouse or partner. In fact, living with their parents is now the most common living arrangement for adults in this age group.
But this statistic gets most interesting when you break it down by gender. Living with their parents has been the most common living arrangement for men aged 18 to 34 since 2009 – that’s seven years of living with mom and dad being the most common situation for sons in this age group. But for now, daughters in this age group are still more likely to live with a spouse or partner than with their parents.
That’s the question posed by a Globe and Mail article published yesterday that features my advice for parents whose retirement is being threatened by adult children living at home:
“A family needs to sit down ahead of time and work out a budget … look at what their existing costs are in terms of paying for their home and things like heat, electricity, insurance and food, then estimate how those costs will be impacted by having another person living at home.
“It’s easy for adult children to go in expecting that it’s not going to cost anything or to be completely unaware of what the costs are.”
New information from Statistics Canada shows that the number of Canadian seniors in declaring bankruptcy is climbing. More than 82,000 people declared bankruptcy in Canada in 2014, 10% of them seniors. That’s a substantial increase from 8.3% in 2010.
Even more worrisome, Scott Hannah of the Credit Counselling Society told CBC Radio’s BC Almanac that the proportion of seniors among the society’s clients has increased from one in 20 fifteen years ago to one in five today. He told host Gloria Macarenko that boomerang kids are a factor in seniors’ increasing debt problems when the adult children don’t pay their fair share of the living expenses.
New research shows that delaying major life steps like moving out, getting married, and having children is actually changing the brains of young people today. According to Beatriz Luna, a professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, that’s actually a good thing, because it gives the brain longer to specialize before it has to stop engaging in “novelty seeking and exploration” to start dealing with the reality of day-to-day life responsibilities. That extra time could result in brains with more “variability and plasticity.”
You can read (or listen to) the whole interview with Dr. Luna, from CBC’s Day Six program, here.
I should start by saying that AdultChildrenLivingatHome.com has no affiliation with this contest whatsoever — I just thought it was something you all would want to hear about. In fact, I’m definitely interested in knowing what you think.
Here’s the scoop. The Canadian rate-finder website RateSupermarket.ca is having a contest for the “Ultimate Mother’s Day Gift.” What’s the prize? A prize package worth about $5,400 designed to help get your adult kid out of your house. They don’t specify what the prize package includes, other than to say it’s “full of grown up goodies” and that it’s designed to “get yourself or your grown child out of the house.”
So, what do you think? Is this really the ultimate Mother’s Day gift? Is $5,400 really enough to get an adult kid out of the house? Will you be entering?
You can find the contest details (and enter, of you’re a Canadian resident and you’re so inclined) here.
In 2011, I appeared in the documentary Generation Boomerang about, well, the boomerang generation. Tonight, the makers of that film are premiering their new documentary — Generation Jobless — on CBC’s DocZone at 9 p.m. PT/ET. I know I’ll be watching, and if you’re in Canada, I’d suggest you watch, too, especially if your adult kids are struggling with unemployment or underemployment. Here’s some information about the new documentary from the filmmakers’ press release.
Today, the unemployment rate for Canada’s twenty-somethings hovers just under 15%, which is nearly double the national average. Why are so many of today’s college and university graduates unable to forge their way into the job market? The new CBC documentary Generation Jobless takes a critical look at the growing problem and the serious ramifications it will have on the lives of every Canadian regardless of age, gender, education or income. Can we fix a broken system or are we destined to betray an entire generation?
Generation Jobless explores the harsh realities Canada’s twenty-somethings face when they try to gain a toehold in the workplace: unprecedented competition from their parents’ generation, and an economy that is being transformed by globalization and automation. Generation Jobless also looks to Switzerland for a solution, where youth unemployment is 2.8% — the lowest in the developed world. In this country, a strategic alliance between government, educators and employers ensures that almost all young people find their place in the job market. If Switzerland can achieve this, why can’t Canada?
Several experts weigh in on what many are calling the most important social issue of our time.
You can watch the trailer for Generation Jobless below.
These infographic from The Globe and Mail show two things. First the huge drop in employment for young people aged 15-24 over the last five years. And second, how the average cost of housing compares to the median household income. They are part of a very interesting story looking at the challenges young people in Canada are facing today. You can see the whole piece here.
Here’s an interesting story. A court in Mumbai, India, recently ruled that adult children “can live in the house of their parents only with the consent of their parents and not otherwise.” This ruling was the result of a case in which a 35-year-old woman and her husband were arguing that they had the right to live in her 73-year-old father’s apartment even though the father wanted them to leave. It’s not clear yet what the long-term effects, if any, of this particular ruling will be in India. You can read more about this story on the BBC’s website here.
The boomerang child phenomenon has become so commonplace (and the term so commonly used) that “boomerang child” has made it into the latest edition of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary. Here’s their definition: “a young adult who returns to live at his or her family home especially for financial reasons.” According to Merriam-Webster, the term was first used in 1988.
The Urban Dictionary, Investopedia, and Wikipedia have definitions of boomerang children, boomerang, and the boomerang generation, respectively, but I believe this is the first time the term has made it into a “serious,” print-based dictionary. It looks like both the trend, and the term, are here to stay.
A recent opinion piece by Mark Steyn on Macleans.ca talked about the impacts of adult children living at home, pegged to the story of Giancarlo Casagrande, a 60-year-old Italian father who has been ordered by the Italian court to pay support to his 32-year-old daughter until she finishes her thesis — which she’s been working on for eight years.
This might sound utterly bizarre, but it’s simply an extreme example of the cultural shifts that have allowed adult children living at home to become such a problem all over the world (and it is a problem — statistics show that there are numerous financial and emotional consequences for both the parents and the adult child).
As Steyn says in his piece:
If you’re a 30-year-old Japanese gal or 38-year-old Italian guy, why move out of the house? You’ve got all the benefits of adulthood (shagging, boozing, your own TV) with none of the responsibilities (cooking, laundry, property tax bills). We’ve created a world in which a 37-year-old Italian male can stroll into a singles bar, tell the chicks he lives at his mum and dad’s place in the same bedroom he’s slept in since he was in grade school—and he can still walk out with a hot-looking babe. This guy would have been a laughingstock at any other point in human history.