The Empty Nest Refills

More adult Americans now live with the their parents after having left home for school and (in many cases) marriage. Today, more young Americans 34 and younger sleep in their childhood bedrooms than at any other time in the past 30 years. This trend, called boomeranging, is in evidence around the rest of the developed world.

Between 2007 and 2009, nearly one quarter of those 20 to 34 are living at home – up from 17 percent in1980, according to a study by Zhenchao Quia of Ohio State University. For those 24 to 34, the rate is closer to one third, said Kim Parker, the lead research in another recent survey, “The Boomerang Generation.”

Crushing student debt, a sagging economy, and dismal employment prospects have come together to force many young people to postpone the complete escape from home. According to The Wall Street Journal, hosting an adult child costs the parent between $8,000 and $18,0000 a year.

In the last decade, the U.S. Census found some 22.6 million adults aged 18-34 lived at home in 2012, a number that’s jumped 18%.

Living at home after a divorce was the premise of a television program, “How to Live with Your Parents,” a recently cancelled ABC sitcom based on writer and actress Claudia Lonow’s own experiences of living at home after getting divorced. In the TV version, Sarah Chalke portrayed a young woman who moves back home with her parents because of the financial crisis and a recent divorce.

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