Why is this research needed?

Anecdotally we know that some young Canadians (those in their twenties through early 30s) say they have not achieved financial independence from parents. We also know that young adults are "boomeranging" home - that is, living on their own for a while but then returning to the home of their parents or living with in-laws. Ontario has the highest rate of co-residence, with almost 50% of young adults (aged 20-34) in Toronto living with their parents (StatsCan).

This pattern is a recent social development in Canada; previous generations left home much earlier and in great numbers. Who is returning home and how do they feel about it? Are parents paying bills or are young adults paying their own way in the family home? Is it as much about care--for aging parents or recent kids--than it is about not finding work? Do young people want to buy their own homes? What are the complex reasons for, and consequences of, living at home?

Who’s involved?

genY / "nexters" / millennials, specifically those born between 1980 and 1995, living with parents or in-laws in the Greater Toronto Area.

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We collected data in two ways – first through an online survey launched in early 2016 and then a series of in-depth interviews with young adults living at home in the GTA.

Research aims

GenY at Home investigated the following research questions:

Why are young adults living in the parental home? Whether it is lack of jobs, inaccessible housing markets because of the price of housing in the GTA, or the need for shared caregiving, there are multiple and complex reasons why millennials live in the parental home or with your in-laws. Are people living as singles or as couples? Are there more men living at home than women? This line of questioning addresses these concerns. 

How does living with parents impact well-being for young adults? It is often assumed that living in the parental home is damaging to genY well-being, that they are living some sort of ‘failure to launch’ stereotype. This assumption needs to be challenged. While many young adults may only live at home out of necessity (related to debt, jobs and housing), for others it is a positive choice that contributes to their well-being, a significant value shift about what it means to be an (independent) adult.

• How do young adults with experience of co-residence define 'home' and 'adulthood'? Around the world co-residence of parents and young adult children is more common, yet it is an under explored development in Canada. What are the consequences of co-residence on genY's sense of independence and adult identity? How do they (re)define 'home'?