Boomerangers: Young Adults Moving Back Home

Some young adults are taking refuge from the dim economy by heading back to their nest, a new report suggests.

A recent survey by the Pew Research Center, announced today, found 13 percent of parents with grown children say an adult son or daughter has moved back home over the past year for various reasons, including the recession.

The so-called boomerangers are mostly individuals ages 18 to 34, the survey found.

Makes sense: While the recession has touched every walk of life, it has hit young adults particularly hard: Just 46 percent of 16- to 24-year-olds are currently employed, a smaller percentage of this group than at any time since the government began collecting such data in 1948, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Pew survey, announced today, involved telephone interviews with more than 1,000 adults ages 18 and older in October. The findings are weighted to produce results that are representative of the general population of U.S. adults.

Among the findings:

  • About 11 percent of adults report living with their parents, with 4 percent of adults saying they were forced to move back home due to the recession.
  • Ten percent of adults, ages 18 to 34, say the poor economy forced them to move back in with Mom and Dad. Twelve percent of 18- to 34-year-olds say they got a roommate.
  • Among parents ages 45 to 54, some 19 percent report their grown children have moved back home.
  • Of all adults who are currently living with Mom and Dad, about 35 percent say they had lived independently at some point in their lives before returning home.
  • About 70 percent of grown children who live with their parents are younger than 30.
  • About half of all grown children who live with parents work full- or part-time, while a quarter are unemployed and two-in-ten are full-time students.

Hard times are leading young adults to put their lives on hold in other ways, according to the Pew survey. Some 15 percent of adults younger than 35 say they have postponed getting married due to the recession, with another 14 percent saying they delayed having a baby for that very reason.

In addition, data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau suggests singles are less likely to live solo now compared with before the recession, though the drop is small from 7.9 percent living solo in 2007 to 7.3 percent in 2009. Among young women, that proportion dropped a whole percentage point to 6.1 percent in 2009.

Recent research suggests lousy finances have been linked with bulging waistlines. On a happier note, economic downturns could boost life expectancy.

Live Science Staff
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