The new normal? Majority of young Aussie adults still living under parents’ roof

A new survey by the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey revealed most young Aussie adults are living with their parents. Source: Getty

For most Baby Boomers the thought of living at home with their parents into their 20s and 30s was very much frowned upon with teens quick to set up their own homes with friends or a partner back in the day. But it seems that things have taken a drastic turn with new data revealing that young adults these days are choosing to live under their parents’ roofs for longer than ever.

Data compiled by the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey revealed that around half of Australians aged between 18 and 29 are still living at home with mum and dad, with young men more likely than young women to make the most of their parents’ generosity.

In fact, a whopping 56 per cent of men and 53 per cent of women were doing so in 2017 with the rising house prices and declining marriage rate to blame for the massive change in trend.

Speaking about the newly released data, Director of the Australian Institute of Family Studies Anne Hollonds explained unlike 20 or so years ago, young adults are finding it increasingly difficult to land full-time employment making it harder for them to afford to rent, let alone purchase their own property.

“House prices are definitely an issue but the other major issues are the fact that they are staying in school longer and maybe starting out into working life later and your employment during your 20s is somewhat insecure, a lot of casual work for young people so that makes it all that harder to get a place to live on your own,” she told 3AW radio host Tom Elliott.

“But I think is one of the big things is we are delaying partnering until about the age of 30 now and so the incentive to set up home with a partner that doesn’t really kick in until much, much later these days.”

She added: “I really think there is much less of a generation gap now between adult children and their parents then there was in my day so I wouldn’t have dreamt of living with my parents through my 20s but that was a completely different world then.”

However, this still seems like an odd concept for many who packed up their bags and started to live independently at the age of 18 or 19.

Reflecting on his young adulthood Elliott exclaimed: “I’ve seen people aged up to mid 30s who still get their meals cooked for them, have their washing done, which I do think in-fertilises people. You’re basically kept as being a child. It’s a reality of modern day Australia.”

His comments were echoed by journalist Mark Riley who appeared on Channel 7’s Sunrise to discuss the new way of living. The reporter explained he was 19 when he moved out and back then it was seen as an exciting transition in life.

However, he added that his own son is still living at home as he undertakes further study at university, explaining parents are “suckers” and are letting their kids reap the benefits of life with mum and dad.

“We make it easy, parents are suckers, we give them home cooked meals, we look after their clothes, we don’t push them too hard, so we’re a bit of a soft touch these days,” he told host Samantha Armytage on the program on Tuesday morning.

Despite probably leaving home in their late teens many parents have also claimed to having their children stay at home and playing in to the ever growing trend.

Read more: Bindi Irwin bucks modern trend for later marriage with engagement at 21

Taking to social media to discuss the topic, mums and dads admitted they like having their kids under the same roof and actually encourage them to do so.

“I’m encouraging my kids to stay longer to ensure they have a solid foundation when they leave,” one person commented on Twitter. “Student debt, lack of permanent hours of employment, cost of rent or buying… it all adds up. Use home as a share house while you save or travel.”

While another added: “Cost of living is to blame. People are getting married later in life now. Anyone who has kids are happy to have them at home.”

What age did you move out of home? Do your kids still live at home? Do you think it is a good idea for them to do so or should they start to live independently earlier on?

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