Boomerang generation is increasingly affecting financial stability


 This guide explores the new phenomenon of the ‘boomerang generation’ and how it impacts on overall financial situations for career and entrepreneurship.

In Western cultures, the norm is for young adults to leave their parental home upon graduating high school. From there, they move to their university or college of choice, where they will reside in either a dormitory or shared accommodation with peers. Alternatively, some may enter the job market or even branch out their methods of generating income to suit the changing times, e.g. casino games with PayPal offer great bonuses which could turn into a lucrative income stream, where they will also live in shared accommodation. Living in their own apartments may be too expensive, as housing is expensive. As the students graduate with college diplomas, they would move away from campus housing but will most likely share housing space with others for some time. 

This contrasts with more traditional cultures, where young adults living with their parents are more common, and students would only live elsewhere if the university campus is too far for a daily commute. In rare cases, the adult kids move out of the parental home unless they have to move away for a work opportunity or get married. 

However, a new phenomenon has emerged since the 21st century, called the boomerang generation. Briefly, this is described as young adults returning to the family home after some time away from it, hence the term ‘boomeranging’. 

Who are the boomerang generation? 

According to Pew Research Center, the boomerange age group, 20-34 in the US, is mainly affected by this trend. Between 2000 and 2011, there have been significant increases in the number of adult offspring moving back to their parents’ residences, between 5% and 17%. Though these increases vary between the genders, it appears that males represent the largest of the numbers (17%) as opposed to 10% of females. 

Three distinct groups of boomerang generation 

The average age of adult children living with their parents is statistically hard to define. In 2014, 20% of adults aged in their 20s and early 30s lived in their parents’ homes, twice the number of the previous generation. The number of 18 to 24-year-olds who live with their parents has remained steady since 1985, about 53% of their age group. In the 25-29 group, the most significant increase has been seen. About 41% live with or have moved back in with their parents. In the 30-34 group, about 17% live with their parents. 

Links to Educational Status 

Educational status is linked with living arrangements for young adults in their 30s, but not for those under 30. Among 30- to 34-year-olds, college graduates are significantly less likely than non-college graduates to be living at home (10% vs 22%). Among adults ages 18 to 29, educational status is not related to living arrangements: 42% of college graduates in this age group live with their parents, as do 50% of those who are currently enrolled in school and 49% of those who are not enrolled and do not have a college degree. 

Links to Employment status 

Employment status is correlated with living arrangements among young adults. Nearly half (48%) of adults aged 18 to 34 who are not employed either live with their parents or move in with them temporarily because of economic conditions. Among those employed full or part-time, 35% live at home or moved back for a time. 

Among young adults in jobs with good career prospects, only 17% live at home. On the other hand, 42% of young working adults say their job is a steppingstone to a career or just a job to get them by living with their parents or have done so in recent years. 

What caused this boomerang generation trend? 

One of the main reasons young adults return to their parents for financial support is the onerous debts due to student loans. Research shows that some graduates owe upward of $20,000 in debt. After funds allocated for higher education got reduced due to the financial crisis of the mid-2000s, many parents could not afford to contribute to their children’s educational costs, causing the need for more loans. The current situation results from mutual dependence between parents and their children to pay off student loans and other debts that accumulated in the wake of the economic pandemic. 

How does the boomerang generation impact financial stability? 

Boomerang kids mainly appeared because of economic upheaval. The cost of financial and social independence became too high, hence the rise of the boomerang generation. Research into the impact on financial stability looked at the mutual benefits and sacrifices attributed to both parents and adult children returning to the former’s household. 

Many young adults moving back to their family residence are confronted with the domestic expectations of their parents. When they were away, they were pretty much in control of what and where they ate, how they cleaned their living spaces, and how and when they would socialize with others. Now there are chores to be done according to a new timetable, and social interaction is constrained by the different generations occupying the same territory. 

At the same time, if the parents and the adult child can negotiate the division of household chores, ground rules regarding social get-togethers, and living arrangements now that the returning children are adults, there are mutual benefits to be found. This new trend of intergenerational cohabitation may be new and challenging for many in modern industrialized Western societies, but it tends to force all involved to communicate and negotiate in ways that can lead to healthy adult relationships between parents and children. 

In many cultures, a few generations live in the same household, sharing burdens and caregiving to the very young and the older members. Childcare and elderly care are two costly areas. In Asian and Hispanic communities, there is a tendency to care for the aging parents within the family, not in outside facilities. One benefit of the multi-generational household is sharing the caregiving of vulnerable members. 

Finally, parents often bear the highest cost when adult children return home with a direct financial impact. If the young ones have just become unemployed, are still searching for their first job, or have left their marital homes, they may require more than just a roof over their heads. Their parents grew used to a certain standard of living within their current incomes or may even have planned to downsize the residence. However, most parents with the means to do so would have contributed financially to their children’s ability to live independently, so opening their homes to their grown children may save money over time. Boomerang children usually pay rent, contribute to utility bills, and perform household chores. 


Much of the information available is based on research conducted by the Pew research center in 2012. Since the number of young adults returning to the parental home has been steadily increasing, it remains to be seen whether this is a temporary phenomenon or one that is here to stay. What is conclusive from the census data is that boomerang kids and their parents benefit from the new circumstances. 


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