living with parents

Boomers to Boomerangers



worry bridge (2) settle down
latter downsize more likely
spouse analysis according to
set up household partner (2)
stick (2) share (2) accommodation (2)
shift (2) recuperate striking (2)
delay stagnant trapped (2)
rent insecure combination
tough inflation take into account
affect doorstep responsibility
figures threefold social mobility
cohabit reflect (2) consequence
gap frustrated literal sense
extend locked out phenomenon


Living at Home

Parents might worry about the day when their children leave home . . . but they might worry even more if they come back.

Not just for a few recuperative months every now and then, but for years, extending into their mid-30s.

Figures from the US show that the first time since 1880s, when records were first kept, people between 18 to 34 are more likely to be living with their parents than being married or co-habiting with a partner.


According to analysis by the Pew Research Group, in 1960 62% of adults had set up their own household with a spouse or partner by the age of 34.

By 2014, that group had fallen to less than 32%, while those sticking with their parents had increased to 32%.

The most striking generational shift is the huge decline in the numbers of young people moving out to get married or live with a partner.

Rising numbers of young people live in various types of shared accommodation, or are living alone (in 1960, only 5% of young adults were in a single-person household . . . this has risen almost threefold to 14% by 2014).


So what is causing this great shift?

The US researchers identify two big factors: relationships and money.

People are getting married, having children, buying their first home and settling down later in life . . . all this delays the point of departure from the family home.

In addition, more people are single. And young adults not in relationships are less likely to move out.


Living independently means having enough money to rent or buy a home (and date and start a family).

However, this generation has faced a tough combination of high house prices and rent with insecure jobs and stagnant wages.

In real terms, when inflation is taken into account, the typical earnings of young men fell by 34% between 2000 and 2014. University graduates are relatively better off.


Indeed those who stay at homes tend to have lower levels of education, training and spending power. And it is affecting men more than women, though the latter generally earn less.

The most likely to move out and set up their own homes are White females with university degrees. Black and Hispanic males without a college education are the most likely to be living with their parents.


Another consequence is the ongoing responsibility of middle-aged couples, who instead of taking it easy, are still supporting children, who themselves are starting to get their own first grey hairs.

It reflects a lack of social mobility in a literal sense, with these frustrated young people, trapped and never making it into the world of family homes and middle-class lifestyles of the successful.

Some don’t necessarily see this as a negative phenomenon. Maybe adult children feel comfortable living with their parents, resulting in greater emotional closeness and bridging generation gaps. And perhaps 50 is the new 30.

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1. In the US, all children permanently move out of their (parents’) homes when they turn 18. True or false? Has this situation been changing?

2. There are only two types of living arrangements: married couples living in their own homes, and adult children living together with their parents. Is this right or wrong?

3. Have relationships changed? How have they changed?

4. Does money play a role in housing and family arrangements? What are the main reasons?

5. Living arrangements affects everyone equally. Yes or no?

6. Is this a temporary situation, according to the writer? Is there much hope or optimism for those living at home?

7. This phenomenon is 100% negative. Is this correct or incorrect?


A. What is the housing situation in your city or country? Has this been changing over the years?

B. When do children move out of their parents’ homes? Where do they go?

C. What do you, your friends and contemporaries desire?

D. What is the “solution” to this “problem”?

E. Is adult children living with their parents good, bad, both, neither or it depends?

F. What will happen in the future?

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