Census data: living with your parents is the new red

Living with parents t-shirtIf you’ve moved back in with mom and/or dad, you’re the very height of recession chic, according to today’s gut-roiling employment news from the Census Bureau. (If you haven’t read the rest… oy… don’t.) According to the LA Times:

In the spring of 2011, 5.9 million young adults ages 25 to 34 (14.2% ) resided in their parents’ household, compared with 4.7 million (11.8 %) before the recession

….Young adults ages 25 to 34 and living with their parents had an official poverty rate of 8.4%, but if their poverty status was determined using their own income, 45.3% had an income below the poverty threshold ($11,344 a year) for a single person under age 65.

This isn’t great news, but we like to keep things on the bright side around here, so we are duty bound to posit that maybe, possibly, this isn’t all bad. More people in a single house is sorta greenish, isn’t it? And aside from free utilities, other perks of shacking up with the ‘rents may include furniture, heat and possibly superior cooking to your own. Disadvantages are obvious, starting with your sex life and the hampering effect of your childhood boy band posters and your father snoring in the next room. What else? Are you, or were you ever living with your parents long after you thought you would be? How bad was it?


  1. Anna Jacobson

    My friend’s boyfriend moved back in with his mom (at 33), because of an inability to find a job in the financial sector.

    Thought an Ivy League diploma in boring money stuff was supposed to ensure he didn’t have to say “good morning, Mom” except for at major holidays.

  2. They used to cram 12-15 people in a small tenement on the Lower East Side, generations together, and no one thought the YAs in the group were weird.  So why the condescending attitude today?  Only boomers are smug about staying with your family past 18 or whatever their fantasies believe.  

    • there’s a difference between living with your family in a tenement house at the turn of the century and going away to college, THEN moving back in with your parents when you can’t/won’t get a job and support yourself. Living away from home is an important part of becoming a functioning human being: paying bills, scrounging for dinner, making the brutal decision between whether you want to pay rent or go see a band you love that’s only in town for one night … all these things help you learn about yourself, and what you’re capable of achieving. If you have the safety net of your parents’ house (their food, their heat, their TV, etc), you’ll never challenge yourself to make something happen. Comfort is the enemy of progress.

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