Close to half of Canadians in their 20s were still living with mom and dad in 2011, a new report from Statistics Canada indicates, and 90 per cent were essentially getting a free ride with no responsibility to pay rent, utilities or a mortgage.
Newly compiled data released on Wednesday morning lays bare the generational shift that has occurred in Canada between the early 1980s and early 2010s.
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According to the numbers, gleaned from 2011’s National Household Survey, 42 per cent of adults aged 20 to 29 were living with their folks when the survey was conducted. Thirty years earlier, the figure stood at 27 per cent.
If you isolate adults aged 20 to 24, the numbers spike even higher. In 2011, 59 per cent of young adults in that bracket were still living with their parents. Among those aged 25 to 29, it was one-quarter (compared to 11 per cent in 1981).
The data released on Wednesday also suggests 90 per cent of those who have stayed home do not pay any household expenses like mortgage payments or utilities.
Over in The U.K., meanwhile, the Office for National Statistics found that in 2011, 32 per cent of young people hadn’t left the nest, a full ten points lower than in Canada.
Data from both the U.K. and the U.S. since 2011 indicates the number of kids settling down in the basement is only going to keep rising.
Variations based on language, gender
Of course, plenty of factors influence the likelihood that a young person will choose to stay or go.
“The proportion of young adults living with their parents not only varied by age and sex, but also across a range of socioeconomic and ethno-cultural characteristics,” the study’s authors noted.
You are more likely to remain under your parents’ roof if you are male, for example, or a member of a visible minority. Being raised in a religious family, and/or immigrating to Canada before the age of 15 increases your chances significantly.
Language (often closely tied to culture) also makes a big difference, Statistics Canada found.
A full 72 per cent of twenty-somethings whose mother tongue is Greek were still living with their parents. For Italian speakers, it was 68 per cent, for Persian speakers, 57 per cent and for German speakers, just 28 per cent.
Statistics Canada researchers have been monitoring this trend for years, and have offered several explanations. Staying in your childhood home can offer both emotional and financial support, experts have suggested, and may help young Canadians save up to afford their first home.
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With a red-hot housing market in some cities, however, home ownership may still remain beyond reach for many. Young women tend to leave home earlier because they may marry or enter a long-term relationship before their male peers.