Boomerang Kids: Why Multigenerational Households Are Surging Worldwide

indsay Samakow, 23, graduated from Penn State University in 2010 and took a job selling phone service door-to-door to small businesses. The recruiter promised she’d make a substantial commission over a tiny base salary. Although Samakow landed plenty of appointments, there were few takers: Her firm’s services were both unproven and more expensive than established rivals.

“The amount I spent in gas and tolls was more than I made in my job,” she said. After eight fruitless months, Samakow — by then the firm’s veteran salesperson — quit. She moved out of the apartment she shared with a roommate, and into her mother’s basement in Maryland while she looked for a new job.

Samakow, sister to HuffPost Parents’ Jessica Samakow, is part of a burgeoning trend: The Great Recession has led to the largest spike ever in the number of Americans living in multigenerational households, according to a study by the Pew Research Center. In 2009, the share of the population living in such households had increased to 16.7 percent, from about 12 three decades earlier.

More than 51 million Americans live in multigenerational households, defined three ways: two adult generations — a household head with an adult child, or with a parent; three or more generations, such as a householder, adult child and grandchild; or two “skipped generations” — a grandparent and a grandchild. But between 2007 and 2009, the fastest-growing segment of people doubling up with family were young adults ages 25 to 34, according to Pew.

Decades of globalization, rather than years of recession, are to blame for the failure to launch among young adults, according to a new book, “The Accordian Family: Boomerang Kids, Anxious Parents and the Private Toll of Global Competition,” by Katherine Newman, dean of the school of arts and sciences at Johns Hopkins University.

via Boomerang Kids: Why Multigenerational Households Are Surging Worldwide.


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