Millennials, Debt, and Boomerang Kids

Earlier this summer, the New York Times wrote about the rising number of Millennials returning to their parents' homes as young adults. The Times went so far as to rename the Millennial cohort (those currently in their 20s and 30s) as "The Boomerang Generation." According to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, this characterization maybe more accurate than many Millennials would like to admit. Among other findings, the Pew report reveals the nation’s 18- to 34-year-olds are less likely to be living independently of their families and establishing their own households today than they were in the depths of the Great Recession.

While many millennials are deciding to not live independently, the national unemployment has shown a significant recovery since 2010 and median weekly earnings among young adult workers are up marginally. Despite this economic upswing, millennials are still deciding to not live independently and continue to not establish households. Most of the decline in independent living since 2007 can be attributed to more young adults living in their parents’ homes.

It is important to note that the young adult population has swelled in size; today there are nearly 3 million more adults ages 18 to 34 than there were in 2007. According to the Brookings Institute, Millennials account for more than $1 trillion in U.S. consumer spending and will make up as much as 75% of the U.S. workforce by 2025. Despite having returned to their childhood bedrooms, Millennials remain optimistic. Another Pew survey found only 9 percent of young adults believe they won’t be able to afford the lives they want. 

For some historical perspective on the issue, consider this graph from the Census Bureau:


Further Reading:

A Foster

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