Census finds more than 40% of young adults living with their parents

Census finds more than 40% of young adults living with their parents – thestar.com.

Statistics Canada confirms what I’ve been writing about.

The article is accurate – as far it goes – but it doesn’t tell the whole story. I went to the Stats Canada report and dug just a little deeper.

It’s true that if you combine two age groups – 20-24 and 25-29 – into a single 20-29 group, the percentage who are still living with their parents is 42.3% and it does represent a miniscule drop from 42.5% in 2006.

But there’s a good reason not to combine the two age groups and stop right there.

A substantial number of people in the 20-24 age group would still be in school, and would not be in a position to move out of the parental home. The real “test” of readiness for adulthood – and moving to living on one’s own – would more typically not kick in until someone was in the 25-29 age bracket. It makes sense to evaluate the two groups separately.

When we do, the results are striking:

The 20-24 age group

As far back as 1981, 41.5% of people age 20-24 were still living at home. This increased to 49.1% in 1986, then 50.5% in 1991. There was a big jump of five percentage points – to 55.8% in 1996, but since then the number has increased very slightly: 57.2% in 2001, 59.5% in 2006 and then down very slightly to 59.3% for the  current 2011 report.

The 25-29 age group

Here the jump has been much more dramatic. In 1981, only 11.3% of people age 25-29 were still living in their parents’ home. This jumped to 15.2% in 1986, 16.9% in 1991, and 21.0% in 1996. The figure hit 22.5% in 2001, 24.7% in 2006, and increased by almost a full percentage point to 25.2% for the current 2011 report — in contrast to the slight decrease over the same period for the 20-24 year olds.

In 1981, the ratio of 20-24 year olds living at home to 25-29 year olds living at home was almost 4:1. Today it’s about 2.3:1.

The big news here is not in the total 20-29 age group, but in the older half – the half who, in the past, would have been more likely to be able to move out on their own.

Recession Generation Opts to Rent, Not Buy — Houses to Cars

Recession Generation Opts to Rent Not Buy Houses to Cars – Businessweek.

Is it the recession? Is it a redefinition of “age-expected” behaviors (and purchases) that would have happened anyway? Is it the “new normal”?

Whatever the cause – and whenever it will reverse itself (if) – there’s no doubt that the whole topic of what’s “supposed to” happen at various ages, or life stages, is going to continue to change. There’s no  doubt, also, that government policymakers as well as marketers will be relatively slower, rather than faster, to “get” what’s happening.

Why The Screwed Generation Is Turning To Paul Ryan – The Daily Beast

Why The Screwed Generation Is Turning To Paul Ryan – The Daily Beast.

Whatever else it’s done, the selection of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate has brought, right smack dab into the middle of the presidential election, the “age rage” issues I’ve been writing about. Given  that Social Security and Medicare are – as presently structured and funded – financially unsustainable, what’s the fix? How do you modify entitlements going forward? As I wrote in “Beyond Age Rage,” this is a massively important topic – and, as we are about to see, it can certainly be framed as a “war of the generations.”

What’s so interesting about this piece is that Kristen Powers is a Democrat (although mostly to be found on Fox News) and the Daily Beast, part of the Newsweek empire (sic), is blatantly pro-Obama.

But I urge you to read the piece without getting yourself too tangled up in the question of whether Obama-Biden or Romney-Ryan are the “better” ticket. Regardless of your personal leanings, look at the way the issue is framed in this article – and look at the language. Ryan as the first Gen X’er to be on a presidential ticket (true). Ryan as the voice of the younger voters who are tired of being “screwed” by the greedy Boomers. (Which flies in the face of the assumption that Obama has a lock on the younger voters, and that Republican automatically means “old”).

And yet Romney-Ryan apparently polls well among seniors – perhaps because they’ve promised not to touch current entitlements for anyone over 55.

I haven’t dealt much with the US election so far,  but I will certainly be upping the frequency as we get closer to November, especially since the themes of “Beyond Age Rage” now appear to be so pivotal. Stay tuned.