NORFOLK, VA (Feb. 04, 2019) – While you’re preparing this year’s passionate, you’re-the-best-thing-that-ever-happened-to-me Valentine’s Day tribute for your significant other, here’s a sobering thought: One in five adults who return home to live with their parents do so because of a broken heart. According to a survey of nearly 1,100 members of the so-called “Boomerang Generation” and their parents, those that return to the nest due to a divorce or partner breakup is roughly the same percentage as those who return because they’re out of work.

In fact, the collapse of romantic relationships is the #1 move-back-home catalyst for Boomerang-ers ages 26-40 and the #2 incentive overall. More specifically, the survey revealed that:

  • Love gone wrong is the primary reason for cohabiting with Mom and Dad for 33% of 26-30-year-old, 37% of 31-35-year-old and 24% of 36-40-year-old Boomerang-ers, outstripping all other considerations by as many as  14 points.
  • Saving money for a home purchase or other major investment is the #1 motivation cited by Boomerang-ers in the 20-25 year-old cohort, while the need to care for aging parents tops the list for those 41 and older.
  • Joblessness and debt rank just #3 and #4 overall as reasons to rejoin parents, even among 20-25-year-olds. Just 18% of Boomerang-ers in that age group return home because they lost or can’t find a job, and 11% because of student loan or other debt.

The survey also provides intriguing insights into Boomerang-ers’ ages, living quarters, sources of conflict, financial arrangements, and overall rapport with their parental roommates. Among the findings:

  • 16% of Boomerang-ers are 31 and older, with roughly half of this group returning home after living elsewhere for 11 years or more.
  • 45% live in their childhood bedrooms, with the rest having been displaced either by choice or space limitations. 26% live in a guest bedroom, 12% in the basement, 5% in a guest house, 4% in the living room and 2% in the garage.
  • Privacy and noise issues cause the most friction, followed by space constraints, clashes over money, and political disagreements. General tension is also common, with more than one-third reporting “good days and bad days,” constant conflict, or difficult relationships dating back to childhood.
  • 25% pay rent to their parents when they move back home, as reported by both parents and children. This is roughly the same across all age groups.
  • The two sides disagree about other aspects of the financial arrangement, suggesting that either parents exaggerate their support or children minimize it. For example, 12% of parents claim they cover all of their child’s expenses, but only 5% of Boomerang-ers themselves say their parents foot the entire bill. Similarly, 35% of parents say that each side pays its own bills, but 45% of children make that claim.
  • Parents are generally supportive. Only 13% discourage adult children from returning home to live, and 77% place no time limit on the arrangement. The majority also report a relatively smooth relationship, with 58% of parents and 68% of children saying they get along well or “hardly know they’re there.”

More information about the survey, including charts and graphs detailing key results, can be found at


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