A new Pew Research study found that 36 percent of the nation’s Millennial generation, adults aged 18 to 31, were living in their parents’ home. Known as the “boomerang generation,” and no longer considered slackers or failures, this generation is waiting for their lives to start in today’s dismal economy, and in the meantime, eating their parents’ food and sleeping in their childhood beds. We discuss the Pew study and the new boomerang generation.

Katrina Schwartz, KQED reporter who lived with her parents when searching for a job
Dr. Richard Fry, senior economist at the Pew Research Center and author of the study
Elizabeth Fishel, author of "When Will My Grown-Up Kid Grow Up?"
Dr. Jeffrey Arnett, professor of psychology at Clark University in Massachusetts and co-author of "When Will My Grown-Up Kid Grow Up?"
Nikole Alford, 29-year-old currently living with her mother

  • theresa

    I am 53 and lived through an earlier recession and lived with family members or roommates until I married at the age of 31. That seemed normal while I was growing up.

  • trite

    Dr. Richard Fry did not address the observation that the child might be paying towards his or her upkeep in the parents’ house. He merely talked about parents coming to live with their children.

  • Kim

    We have a very unique cultural paradigm in the US, where individuality and striking out on one’s own are highly valued. In other cultures (latin/asian) family is extremely important above all. It’s not uncommon to find several generations living under one roof. Recently, my husband and I moved back home with my mother’s blessing. We are saving to buy a house and living at home -especially with the exorbitant housing prices in the bay area – will give us a huge head start. We pay rent and bills and contribute to the household.

    • geraldfnord

      I could swear that I have read the same conservative commentators who decry the decrease in social ties and familial assistance (as opposed to the State’s) also take children’s getting back in closer as a sign of the youngsters’ lack of ambition born of low moral fibre.

      (Of course, it is rare for anyone to both want what they want and all the implications of what they want….)

  • Valerie

    I am almost 30 years old and was a non traditional student who relied heavily on my parents who supported me going to school to get an engineering degree at 23 years old versus the traditional 18. When I graduated a little over a year ago and was unable to find a job for an entire year (in my field, I worked retail) I moved back in with them, as I couldn’t afford to live on my own. I am a smart, tech educated woman, and still needed my parents help due to our economic situation. And now, because of their help, I have a good job, in my field, and am in a financial place that they would have wanted for me, where I can afford to support myself in San Francisco. Needing help does not make 20 somethings any less grown up! Some older adults simply do not seem to understand the economic situation for young people graduating today. Oh, and thanks mom and dad!

    • Bill Tutuki

      The Reason more people such as myself still live with parents is because we can’t afford a house in the Bay Area.

      1. Places like Solano County more specifically Vallejo put too much bets on real estate and went Bankrupt in the 2008 crash.

      2. San Francisco and San Jose has the highest median for houses and Gas prices in the country.

      3. More educated people have to move out of California or in other cases the USA to find a job.

      4. Obligations to take care of family.

      5. Pressure to get a graduate degree Ie PH.d and MBA to get in the “Middle Class. ” (Median Income may vary based on where you live)

  • steve

    i’m sorry, but i still wouldn’t move back in with my parents. i work several jobs, i cut, i make sacrifices, but at a certain point one need’s to cut the cord, for the second time, and go out on their own

  • marte48

    I had my own place for over thirty years until I was layed off from Lockheed, along with 20,000 other workers. I was 46, single, with two little kids in school. I had no where to turn except to my parents. My condo sold at a loss, I had spent my savings and 401K trying to avoid losing my place. I was in an ARM, and paying 12% interest. The next job I got I took a 25% (that’s one paycheck per month) cut in pay. I was turning 50, starting all over again from scratch. All the young people who are struggling to have and keep their own places – it’s not over yet!

  • marte48

    The myth that people can have their own places died decades ago. It is a testament to the goodness and hard work of young people – and how much they want their own lives – that they try so hard to make a rigged system work.

  • marte48

    The reason that there are not more comments on here is that young people are out there working and studying and trying to figure out how to have their own living spaces in an economy that is skewed so unfairly towards the rich.

  • marte48

    The generation that lived through the crash of 1929 lived at home. Even after WW2, those who survived came home to live back with their parents until the government built enough housing to accommodate the returning GIs. They had plentiful jobs and GI benefits, and tiny mortgages. My mother, now 92, saved hers and my dad’s paychecks and bought a house for $10K. Their mortgage was $68!!! That’s sixty eight dollars! Ask your grandparents what their mortgage was. That is what they call the “devaluation of the dollar!”

  • marte48

    That’s why we are so nostalgic about the 1950’s!

  • marte48

    Now, my mother (92) is severely disabled, and really needs me to be with her 24/7. I never quit wanting my own place again. It just does not seem possible. I am 65, and no matter what my tech skills, corporate America just does not want me anymore. And how can I take out a 30 year mortgage at 65?

  • Rachel

    I’m a recent grad trying to finish my masters thesis and look for a job at home. I feel guilty every day for taking up space and consuming my family’s resources, and though I am told I’m welcome, there are times they make it clear that I’m not and often remind me that I am a temporary guest. At the same time, it strikes me as immensely illogical to want to move out and get my own place when the costs are so high, especially since for many young people starting (or not starting) their careers, they end up working to live to work to live until they can finally make enough money to extend beyond that. On the other hand, my boyfriend lives in Peru, where it is expected and normal for adult children to continue living with their parents until they are married (and often afterwards for a time) because of the cost and limited availability of housing for those with low incomes (the majority of young adults). It is interesting to compare the different attitudes towards living at home.

  • Dr. Duru

    I don’t think the reporting on this study has been complete. Looking at the data in the report, I came to less dramatic conclusions, especially when looking at the breakdowns and trends by education, gender, and age:

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