The phenomenon of Adult children living with their parents is not new. In 2007 I wrote about the concept. Stats Canada had some very interesting info at the time as well.
Stats Canada published a plethora of interesting statistics from the 2006 Census. In the area of Personal and Home Finances: For the first time there are more unmarried folk over the age of 15 than there are married.
In 2006, more than one-half (51.5%) of the adult population were unmarried, that is, never married, divorced, separated or widowed, compared with 49.9% five years earlier. Conversely, only 48.5% of persons aged 15 and over were legally married in 2006, down from 50.1% in 2001.2006 Census release topics
A large increase in 1 person households (i.e. people living alone). More of us living on our own? Interesting, one theory put forward is folks are trying to get themselves together financially and mentally before committing to a long-term relationship. If that is the case, that is a good thing (in my opinion).
The one really interesting statistic for me is the following:
Over the last two decades, one of the trends for young adults has been their growing tendency to remain in, or return to, the parental home. This upward trend has continued over the past five years.
In 2006, 43.5% of the 4 million young adults aged 20 to 29 lived in the parental home, up from 41.1% in 2001. Twenty years ago, 32.1% of young adults lived with their parents.
2006 Census release topics
Among individuals aged 20 to 24, 60.3% were in the parental home in 2006, up from 49.3% in 1986. Among those aged 25 to 29, 26.0% were in the parental home in 2006, up from 15.6% two decades earlier.
So, more and more of us are not becoming “Empty Nesters” in fact we are turning into a “flop house” for our 20-year-old kids? That seems to line up with my observations from friends and acquaintances that I know. Kids go off to University to get their degrees, but then return and move back in.
I must admit that I was somewhat guilty of that on work terms. I did, however, manage to not move back in with my parents after I graduated.
My question is how can you retire if your kids have moved back in with you? I guess if they move back in, and start paying room and board, that might be OK. If they move back in and resume their role as “child” while pulling in a large salary, that is bad. They keep calling my generation the “Sandwich” generation because we will have to care for both our parents and our children eventually, these statistics seem to imply that may well be the case.
Time to Leave Home ?
I have attempted to instill in my kids a real desire to leave the house. Useful statements like:
- “You don’t like me harping on you to do your chores? Well if you had your own place, that wouldn’t happen would it?”
- “If you don’t get a summer job, you’ll be watching your brother all summer for me”
- “You want money? Room and board is not enough?”
I am kidding (although I believe in a few spots, I have actually said that to my kids at some time). It is important to get our kids prepared to spread their wings and leave the nest (and then move the NEST).
I wonder if the bit about more young adults living in their parental home is partially a function of more people living in large urban centres. When you grow up in a rural area most of the opportunities for education and jobs are away from home but when you grow up in a large urban centre they are all available near your parental home so it’s easy to live at home to save money will going to university etc.