LOS ANGELES, July 20, 2014 – The Pew Research Center just released polling data that a record 57 million Americans, or 18.1% of the population, live in multi-generational homes. In other words, just under 1 out of 5 households are made up of two or more generations of adults living together.
The number of millennials living with their parents is rising sharply as well. 23.6% of people aged 25 to 34 live with their parents, grandparents, or both.
That’s up from 18.7% in 2007, and from 11% in 1980.
You’ll be excused for thinking this is a bad economic development and for blaming it on the sluggish job market, the foundering economy, or some such thing.
But there are actually some upsides to have those under 35 back at home.
Let us propose three of them:
- Younger people can improve their household’s social media presence. Let’s face it, if life’s activities aren’t documented on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, then they really didn’t happen. Millennials have all of that stuff down cold, and can certainly act as their family’s social media director, in return for room and board.
- They can improve the moral content of the family’s meals. After 5 or 6 years of college indoctrination on the immorality of eating animals and the importance of consuming locally-grown and sustainable produce, the young can work to implement a change in the household diet.Those 50 and older may think of food as only for physical nourishment, whereas millennials understand the ethical imperative of eating correctly.
- Your electric bill will go down. Rather than being concerned about making their own way in the world or old-fashioned self-reliance, the average youngster is primarily concerned with reducing the planet’s carbon footprint.No more will parents have to remind their kids to turn off the lights. The kids will now be insisting that only the most essential energy-consuming items be used and will thus be actively monitoring power consumption for the good of the planet.And that will save some bucks.
Of course, there may be those who continue longing for the good old days, back when offspring left the nest and they left for good. Not much can be done about that, sadly.
But since this is the new normal, it would behoove everyone to take advantage of the benefits that now can be obtained.
What other upsides can you think of?
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