The journey home won't be quite so far this year for many young adults. Instead of traveling across country or across town, many grown sons and daughters will be coming to dinner from their old bedroom down the hall, which now doubles as their recession-era refuge.
A recent survey by the Pew Research Center finds that 13% of parents with grown children say one of their adult sons or daughters has moved back home in the past year. Social scientists call them "boomerangers" -- young adults who move in with parents after living away from home. This recession has produced a bumper crop.
Census Bureau data confirm that proportionately fewer young singles are living solo now than before the recession. Overall, the proportion of adults ages 18 to 29 who live alone declined from 7.9% in 2007 to 7.3% in 2009. Similar drops in the proportion of young people who live by themselves occurred during or immediately after the recessions of 1982 and 2001.
The current decline has been particularly steep among young women; the proportion who live by themselves fell by a full percentage point to 6.1%. Among young men, the share living on their own fell 0.2 percentage points to 8.4%, a statistically insignificant change.
Read the full report Home for the Holidays...and Every Other Day on the Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends Web site.