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The Boomerang Generation

The Boomerang Generation

More and more young adults are choosing to return home and live with their parents, while they find appropriate jobs that match their skill set. The boomerang generation is waiting it out with the help of their parents so that they can set out on their own, eventually.
OpinionFront Staff
According to Pew, young adult men of the Millennial generation were 40% more likely to live with their parents as compared to 32% women.

Gone are the days when parents had to prepare themselves for their own share of empty nest syndrome and the loneliness it brings. Although, children still leave the shelter of home to pursue their college and university education, recent years have seen the Millennials or Generation Y (those born between early 1980s and 2000s) returning to their parental home.

It's just like the old times, when it was considered normal to live with parents. The Pew Research statistics carried out their own survey on 'The Boomerang Generation' from December 6 – 19, 2011. They spoke to 2,048 young adults between the age of 18 to 34 and found that 24% of the lot had returned home to live with their parents because of the bleak economic and employment conditions. Pew reported in August 2013, that in 2012, 21.6 million young adults were living with their parents. According to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by Pew Research Center in 2012, 36% of America's Millennial generation (18 – 31) has been living with parents and has not witnessed such escalation in four decades.

What is the Boomerang Generation
The term boomerang generation refers to the phenomenon of young adults who return home to live with their parents, after living independently for a brief period. The trend has been likened with the throw tool boomerang, because of the frequency with which today's young adults are returning home. The recent years have seen a massive influx in the number of graduates returning to the security of their parental homes, because of the serious dearth of jobs and to avoid sky-high rents and lowered standard of living.

✦ According to Pew, 29% of parents who were interviewed said that their children had boomeranged home because of the current economic situation in the country.
✦ 48% of the young adults reported to have paid rent to the parents, whereas 89% claimed to have contributed financially to manage daily expenses for the family.
✦ According to Pew, the reason so many youngsters are upbeat about their decision to move back in with parents is because, the trend has become very common.
✦ 61% of young adults between ages 25 – 34, reported that they had friends and family in a similar situation as them and had chosen to move back with their parents.
✦ Even those with jobs are returning home, to get away from the skyrocketing down payments and credit standards which have dissuaded many young Americans from investing in a house of their own. To top it all, the lowered incomes and escalating unemployment has made it almost impossible for young adults to afford renting a place.
✦ According to the analysis of the U.S. Decennial Census data by Pew, the number of young Americans (25 – 34 years) living in multi-generation households was the highest in 1940 at 30%, the lowest in 1980 at 11%, and rose substantially to 21.6% in 2010 because of the recession of 2007. However, the poverty rate for young adults staying in a multi-generation setup was much lower at 9.8% as compared to 17.4% among those who were living separately.

Reasons Behind Increase in Boomerang Generation

Insufficient Jobs
One of the foremost reasons behind the rise in the number of Millennials opting to stay at their parental home is the declining employment opportunities. With lesser jobs available in the labor market, more and more young adults are returning home to minimize expenses. The number of employed young adults between the age of 18 – 31 years has consistently reduced since the last six years. In 2012, only 63% were reported to be employed as compared to 70% in 2007.

Despite being employed, 29% of young adults chose to stay with parents as compared to 45% Millennials who were unemployed and staying with their parents.

Rise in College Enrollments
The number of Millennials pursuing their higher education has increased substantially since the last six years as well. The number of 18 – 24 year olds who enrolled in college had risen to 39% in 2012 as compared to 35% in 2007. According to the March Current Population Survey (CPS) of 2012, young adults who were enrolled in college were 66% more likely to live with their parents as compared to the 50% who were not in college.

Decline in Marriage
Unmarried young adults are 47% more likely to live with parents as compared to the 3% that comprise their married counterparts. However, the number of young adults (18 – 31) getting married had declined to 25% in 2012 as compared to 30% in 2007.

There is also a growing trend of many young adults considering not to enroll in college in order to avoid student debt. However, the unemployment rate between 2011 – 2012 for high school graduates was much higher at 31% as compared to 9.4% among college graduates. Therefore, young adults who graduate from college are more likely to find jobs after boomeranging home, as compared to their counterparts who never left home after completing their high school.