With summer rapidly approaching, most of you are probably already making plans for how to spend the three warmest months of the year. Some might even stick around for classes during the summer quarter. Others might head to some new, exciting location for an internship or to begin a career. However, this June, a large number — graduating or not — will head back to where they started. Mom, Dad, Grandma or whatever combination made up the nuclear, single-parent or extended family you shot out from will catch you on the rebound.
While many demographers refer to our generation as “Generation Y,” a growing number are also using the term “Boomerang Generation.” Last month, the Pew Research Center released a report titled “The Boomerang Generation: Feeling OK about Living with Mom & Dad.” The report summarizes the findings of a survey of young adults — ages 18 to 34 — and whether or not they are living with their parents (or in a “multi-generational household”), and if so, their feelings about various related issues.
A total of 2,048 individuals were surveyed for the report. Of those individuals surveyed, 808 were between the ages of 18 to 34. The survey found that 39 percent of young adults either live with their parents now or moved back in temporarily within the past few years. Breaking this number down further:
- among 18 to 24 year olds, 53 percent currently live with their parents or moved back in temporarily for a time during the past few years;
- among 25 to 29 year olds, 41 percent currently live with their parents or moved back in temporarily for a time during the past few years; and
- among 30 to 34 year olds, 17 percent currently live with their parents or moved back in temporarily for a time during the past few years.
A lot of this has to do with the economy. Of the 808 individuals between the ages of 18 to 34 surveyed for the report, 24 percent moved back in with their parents within the past few years due to economic conditions.
Other interesting information contained in the report is in regard to finances, outlook and relationships.
The poverty rate of multi-generational households is lower than non-multi-generational households. In 2010, the poverty rate of multi-generational households was 12.6 percent. This is compared to a 15.7 percent poverty rate in non-multi-generational households in previous years.
Almost half (49 percent) of young adults who live with their parents claim there is an intergenerational link between their finances and parents. Approximately 26 percent claim that there is a “great deal” of linkage between their finances, while 23 percent claim there is at least “some” linkage between their finances. In addition, 19 percent of all young adults receive financial assistance from their parents or other family members; 34 percent of those between the ages of 18 to 24 receive financial assistance and 8 percent between the ages of 25 to 34 receive financial assistance.
Of those young adults who currently live with their parents, 44 percent say they are currently happy with their housing situation. This compared to 49 percent of young adults living on their own who say they are currently happy with their housing situation.
Approximately 21 percent of young adults who currently live with their parents say they have “enough” money now, compared to 38 percent of young adults not currently living with their parents who say they have enough money now. However, looking toward the future, 83 percent of young adults who currently live with their parents say they will soon have enough money to live the type of life they want. This is compared to 84 percent of young adults who currently do not live with their parents who say they will have enough money in the future to live the type of life they want.
Of those young adults who currently live with their parents, 68 percent say they are very satisfied with their family life. Approximately 73 percent of young adults currently living on their own say that they are very satisfied with their family life, which is a statistically insignificant difference from their counterparts living with Mom and Dad.
Approximately 34 percent of young adults who currently live with their parents or moved back in temporarily because of economic conditions say living with their parents was good for their relationship. On the flip side, 18 percent say it was bad for their relationship with their parents. Approximately 47 percent say it did not really make any difference at all.
Multi-generational households have slowly been on the rise — as a percent of total households in the United States — since 1980. Whether or not it is a type of living situation that you could handle depends in large part on your personality and relationship with family. However, if moving back in with your parents is a hand being forced upon you, based on the above statistics, it might not be the end of the world; just do not get too comfortable.