Monday, May 7, 2012

The Boomerang Generation

We tend to hear a lot about the Boomerang Generation – those young adults who move back home with their families during difficult situations such as financial hardship. According to the Pew Research Center more than three-quarters of young adults ages 25 to 34 who have moved back home say they're satisfied with their living arrangements and upbeat about their future finances.

One reason young adults who are living with their parents may be relatively upbeat about their situation is that this has become such a widespread phenomenon.

Among adults ages 25 to 34, 61% say they have friends or family members who have moved back in with their parents over the past few years because of economic conditions. Furthermore, three-in-ten parents of adult children (29%) report that a child of theirs has moved back in with them in the past few years because of the economy.

Having said that I was interested in how marriage, separation and divorce rates have changed over the last 20 years and as well, if there is any linkage to the boomerang affect.

Age at first marriage

Over the last twenty years, the average age at which Australians first marry has increased. In 2010, the median age at first marriage for men was 29.6 years and 27.9 years for women, an increase of more than three years since 1990 (26.5 years and 24.3 years respectively). Since 2002, the median age at first marriage for both men and women has remained relatively unchanged.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics suggest a number of factors that may affect the age at which Australians first marry. These include the pursuit of higher education, the associated delay in labour force participation, the increasing social acceptance of cohabitation before marriage, and children moving out of the family home later in adulthood due to these factors. In 2006-07, 49% of men and 45% of women aged 18-24 years had never left the parental home, mainly for financial reasons (41%) or the convenience and/or enjoyment of living at home (36%).

Age at separation and divorce

As couples are choosing to marry later in life, and marriages are lasting longer, couples also tend to divorce at older ages. In the last two decades, the median age at separation has increased by approximately six years for both men and women.

In 2010, the median age for males at separation was 40.8 years, and 44.4 years at divorce, up from 35.3 years and 38.2 years respectively in 1990. Reflecting the age gap between men and women at marriage, the female median age at separation was 38.1 years, and 41.5 years at divorce, up from 32.4 years and 35.3 years in 1990.

Stats curtsey The Australian Bureau of Statistics

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