Memo to kids: Please stay home (Editor’s notes)

Youth staying in the nest could be a good thing
By Todd Humber
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/03/2007

It was a pretty surprising stat: Almost one-half (43.5 per cent) of Canadians age 20 to 29 are still living at home, according to data from Statistics Canada’s 2006 Census. That’s up significantly from two decades ago, when only about one-third (32.1 per cent) of that age group were still hanging out with the parental units.

That translates into about two million young Canadians who haven’t stretched their wings and flown the nest. On the surface, that sounds bad and makes it look like today’s 20-somethings are a pretty immature bunch. Most people don’t really grow up until they’ve gone out and got that first apartment and stopped relying on mom and dad to pay the bills. Immaturity is a symptom that’s pretty visible in the workplace too — employees have a very different view of work when their paycheque stops paying for fun and toys and starts paying for the mortgage and groceries.

Data from another Statistics Canada survey released last month, crunching numbers from 2001, showed that, on average, a 25-year-old in 2001 had gone through the same number of transitions as a 22-year-old in 1971. In 2001, one-half of all 22-year-olds were still in school, only one in five was in a “conjugal union” (usually common law) and one in 11 had children. That’s a marked difference from 1971 when three-quarters of 22-year-olds had left school, nearly one-half were married and one in four had children.