Moving out of home used to be a rite of passage for a young person in Australia.
A symbolic declaration of independence. A chance to start adulting.
And failing to fly the coop in a timely fashion?
Well that’s historically been riddled with negative stereotypes and media portrayals (does an unemployed loser setting up shop in their parent’s basement or garage ring a bell?)
Yeah. So cringe.
But to quote the iconic Michael Scott…
Today, many Gen Zs in Australia and around the world are either still living at home or have ‘boomeranged’, moving back with their parents after living independently.
In fact, according to a recent study of 300 people aged 18 to 25 in the United States, Gen Zs are living at home in ‘greater numbers than any generation in recent history’, with 54% of young adults ‘choosing’ to live with their parents.
That’s in stark contrast to a 1971 Pew Research Center study which found that just 9% of young adults in the same age bracket lived in a multigenerational home in 1971. And while this has drawn the ire of older generations who delight in ridiculing Gen Zs as the ‘Nest generation’, myriad financial reasons such as the unprecedented rising cost of living, soaring house prices, and a strained rental market are making independence almost impossible.
And in many cultures, neither is it taboo.
Take Italy for example.
An ABC News report looking into why adults around the world live with their parents found that 65% of Italians aged between 18 and 34 were living at home with their folks.
And according to data from Eurostat, of that 65% a whopping three-quarters are men.
“Italy has even coined a term for these men: ‘mammoni’ or ‘mama’s boys’,” wrote Morgan Winsor
“The strong bond between parent and child keeps many Italian men from moving out of their parent’s home.”
In the Middle East, North Africa, and China, many young adults are living not just with their parents but also grandparents – mainly due to familial bonds being highly valued culturally.
On the flip side, multigenerational homes have almost always been the norm in Spain.
But with historically high unemployment rates, living with the ‘rents isn’t purely cultural.
With approximately 35% of young Spaniards unemployed, it’s no wonder eight out of ten people under the age of 30 still live at home with their parents.
According to the Council for Youth in Spain, “The emancipation for young people in our country remains a utopian idea,” wrote the CJE.
All things considered, isn’t it time we cut young Aussies a bit of slack and destigmatise living with parents, especially considering the state of our economy?
That’s why adult children living at home is okay.