Majority of Canadians aged 20 to 29 live with parents

Huge social differences between Gen X, Gen Y and Boomers


Photo courtesy of h3nr0 on Flickr

Generation Y Canadians (those born between 1981 and 1990) are experiencing a very different life in their twenties from what Generation X (those born between 1969 and 1978) and the Baby Boomers (born 1957 to 1966) experienced. It’s all laid out in a new study in Canadian Social Trends that used data from Statistics Canada’s General Social Survey.

The most strking change is that a slim majority of Gen Y twenty-somethings now live with their parents (51 per cent). In 1998, fewer than a third (31 per cent) of Gen X twenty-somethings were living at home. In 1986, only 28 per cent of twenty-something boomers were with mom and dad.

Considering how many are living at home, it’s not surprising that far fewer are now married or in common law relationships. For the Boomers, 48 per cent were in a serious relationship during their twenties. It was 37 per cent for Gen X and 33 per cent for Gen Y.

But just because they’re living at home doesn’t mean they’re playing video games all day. Roughly the same number do paid work (47 per cent) as the Boomers did in 1986 (51 per cent).

That said, far fewer are doing the unpaid work of raising a child. In 1986, nearly a third (29 per cent) of Boomers had children. Only 19 per cent of Gen Y twenty-somethings had kids in 2010.


Majority of Canadians aged 20 to 29 live with parents

  1. This is not surprising at all. The baby boomers dont want to retire and are making tons of money while the University grads cant find decent work.

  2. Mathgenius: read the article: nearly half are doing paid work.
    The real issue is the fact that boomers refuse to let their children grow up.

  3. I agree with both Mathgenius, especially but also mat in very general terms. Children thrive on feeling useful and need to learn resposibility in order to “grow up”. A most interesting book to read on the topic of the early Boomers and their effects on western society is to be found in The Lyric Generation, a book recently promoted on CBC as a “Must REad” before visiting Quebec.

  4. Interesting numbers. Having hit a serious recession recently, I’m surprised there’s no mention on the impact of the economy. I also wonder if the high immigration levels in Canada factor in these numbers since cultural traditions in many other countries expect adult children to live at home until marriage.

  5. From a male perspective, if one can earn enough money from his job and also have a decent social life, trust me, most will want to live independently from their parent in order to have the privacy and freedom. On the other hand it is nice to stay home with hot meal ready and someone doing the laundry and household chore for you; not to worry about the rent, phone, hydro payment etc. and you can save enough money to buy the newest electronic toy that you want. To me it is not the parent don’t let me to grow up but I would rather take the easy way and stay home while it is much cheaper than renting a place and have to pay for everything yourself. sorry I only earn average salary, can’t move out.

  6. You have got to be kidding.
    I am a 61 year old baby boomer. I have worked my butt off for 40 years, straight from high school, to university (paid by myself, in full by working through high school, university bus boy, no breaks, no social life, then to full time work). I just retired, I have dept that is largely due to having three kids and paying their university costs and providing them “free” gifted cars.

    I could not retire fast enough, not many boomers are working because they want to, its because they have to. And if our bloody kids would, could pay us back for all that we have paid for we could have retired ages ago.

    Yes I have a lot of toys. My very large house is meant for our kids and the grandkids to come a visit often, which they do. We are a nuclear family. Our house and its amenities are so nice that our kids really enjoy being here. This is the single difference between generations. When I grew up, we had nothing, no toys, no plasma big screen HD TV, no video games, no cell phones, no hot tub, no 5th wheel recreation vehicle, a very small house, two kids per room, so staying at home was not fun nor an option….you were naturally encouraged to leave and make it on your own, this is not that same as today where the boomers like me have accumulated wealth and comfort that the kids can’t see ever getting to that stage for so long it is easier to just move in. Sorry but that is the truth of it in general.

    By the way I have three children, and three grand children, two of my kids have disabilites, one due to a brain tumour and one with mental illness. One lives with me because he can not survive on his own. And I do not regret it for a minute. However, I can’t speak for all those able bodied folks who are still living at home. I fully believe that many middle class, baby boomers homes and amenities are so nice that the children have difficulty “leaving” the comfort of the home nest.

    • Bryan, no offense, but I think you’re out of touch. There are many more factors that you’re not taking into consideration. It isn’t just a matter of comfort and laziness.

      The economy is the worst it’s been in 100 years, making the job market atrocious. The ones hit the hardest are men in their 20’s. The ones that do have work are likely making minimum wage, and in a society that tries to strip you of every penny you have, it’s hard to make ends meet.

      I know many people who, when they reached adulthood, had to choose between having a car or living on their own. When insurance payments for young people often equal the amount as the payment for rent for an apartment, having both are rarely an option, no matter how hard you work.

    • Why are adult kids still at home? Because WE let them. Where is it written that we owe our children a fully paid education let alone a gifted car. I think every parent wants to contribute (help) to their children’s education but why do so many boomer parents feel they need to go in debt and pay for their children’s education. Why are SOME kids today spoiled rotten, entitled brats….because we have made them that way.

  7. I’d be interested to see their statistics on why these children are staying at home or whether or not there is monetary compensation given to the parents. During university, I lived at home as it was cheaper. My parents did not pay for schooling or a car; they helped out by not charging me rent. I still did all my own chores and worked to pay for schooling and food costs. I was a late in life baby for my parents, and after university I remained in the family home as it made my parents much more comfortable to have me there since my father worked out of town and was not home at night. I paid all my own expenses as well as rent. Living at home is not ideal, but when a one-bedroom place in a sketchy area of the city is $800 (utilities not included) and the job market is at the point where you’re happy to get $10 an hour for 20 hrs a week … it’s not as easy as it used to be to find a job that can pay your expenses. I was lucky in that I could have afforded it on my own but stayed home for a few years to help out (which is in it’s own way repaying my parents for years of raising me — they looked after me when I needed it, I looked after them).

  8. My guess is that this trend is mainly due to immigration rather than social changes. Of the people I know, most Asian and Indian 20-somethings live with their parents, but most European descendents do not.

  9. To Bryan:

    You have to realize that youth today are not exposed to the same conditions that you did in your time. We have to deal with rising tuition rates and other expenses with fewer job prospects. I live at home with my mom now while I’m studying in university and hope to move out in a couple of years. My mom did try to help with some expenses in the first year, I had to deal with most of the expenses through temp jobs and a loan. I’m not one to go and waste money when I have it but even when trying to cover the necessary expenses (e.g. tuition, books, transportation), I barely got by. In addition, I was constantly searching for jobs during the school year and I’m still looking for more temp jobs this summer but I only have one lined up. It’s not easy to pay for it all if you can’t find a job to do so. You need to realize that you can’t paint everyone with the same brush and that there are other things that need to be taken into consideration before saying that all young people nowadays live to mooch off of their parents.

  10. I’m a boomer, and despite coming from a comfortable middle class home, I could not WAIT to get out on my own and make an independent life for myself, even if it meant I had to live in dumps (which I did, since I paid for almost all my own schooling and living expenses). When I started working, I didn’t mind working hard and saving for the things I wanted, because I took huge pride in making it on my own, and building my own future. I’m the mother of three, and can’t understand for the life of me why so many kids are so passive and feel so entitled to leech off their parents well into their later 20s, even with good jobs. I’m also a manager, and I find young people don’t want to gradually work their way to a middle class lifestyle. They want it all the day they start working, and really don’t want to have to save and wait. It’s like they think the prior generation just woke up one morning and poof, instant luxuries. I’d also like to retire in due time, if my kids and their friends would please just GET ON WITH IT. Get a life and get the hell out of the house.

  11. If you take a closer look at how these statistics were calculated, you notice that households without landlines were excluded. How many 20 somethings living on their own actually have a landline? Seems pretty biased to me.

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