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Boomerang generation of under 34’s who have moved back home

Date online: 16/09/2014

New research conducted on behalf of alternative account provider thinkmoney for its Great Escape campaign shows that of the 1.4million young adults who have boomeranged back home, over three quarters (78%) left to go to university or college and then moved back.

The remaining 22% set up home alone but were forced back. Interestingly, women are 17 percentage points more likely to move back home after studying than men.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the majority of young adults under 34 who moved out then moved back home again did so for financial reasons. Almost a third (31%) were driven by a need to save money whilst 27% said that they simply couldn’t afford to live away from their parents. And they certainly stand to save a substantial sum, as further research carried out by thinkmoney has revealed that the average cost of setting up home alone in a flat is nearly £1,060 a month.

However, finances were not the only reason these boomerangers moved back home. One in 10 (10%) revealed they had returned to their mum and dad’s after their own relationship broke down.

Sadly, 1.8% of the respondents said the reason they moved home again was because of ill health. Meanwhile, one in seven (15%) revealed they chose to move back so they could care for their parents.

Overall, young people in Wales were the most likely to boomerang, with half (55.6%) of all young Welsh people living at home saying that they had moved out and then gone back. Young people in the North West were the most likely to return home after studying away, with a quarter (43%) of these respondents saying they had done so (compared with 34% nationwide).

Failure to launch

Conversely, of the 3.3 million under-34s living at home, 57% or 1.9million have never left home. Men are more likely to have never left home than women (66% of men v 52% of women). Overall, young people in the North East are the most likely never to have left home, with three quarters (74%) of those in the region living at home saying they had always done so

Easy life

Once young people have moved back home, the research suggests that many of them enjoy an easy life. Two-fifths (42%) of respondents admitted they did not pay rent regularly to their parents, while more than one in 20 (6.8%) claimed not to help out with any of the cooking, cleaning, shopping, laundry or DIY that needed doing at home.

Ian Williams, spokesman for thinkmoney, says: “It’s often said that the only reason young people have to return to living at home after moving away is if they are saving to buy a house, or for other financial factors. But our research shows there are many other reasons, including relationships breaking down and health failing.

“Failing finances, health and relationships may all play a part in convincing people their only choice is to move back in with their parents. However, some of this boomerang generation may be heading back simply because it’s the easiest and most affordable option.”

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