WHAT: Since the 1990s and a period of Japanese economic stagnation known as the “Lost decade”, a new social phenomenon has developed impacting primarily young people. Negatively referred to as “parasaito shinguru” (“parasite singles”), or “boomerang generation”, millions of Japanese have been forced to move back with their parents, and delayed the age of accessing their first home. In 2000 Japan counted 10 millions of “parasite singles” revealing the difficulties to become economically independent. But with the 2008 crisis and the current pandemic, similar trends have been noticed in Europe. In the UK, a quarter of young adults are living with their parents. Since the first lockdown in France in 2020, 30% of people under the age of 35 have been forced to return their apartment and move back to their parents’ homes. In the USA, this concerned 3 millions of American.
SO WHAT: The “boomerang generation” phenomenon is deeply rooted in higher precarity among younger generations despite higher levels of education. Young people are still the first group moving into cities, but it may change if they can no longer provide sustainable living environments. There is potential for places willing to invest in new forms of affordable housing to attract and retain young graduates. At the same time, generations of young people moving back to their parents’ home may be be enticed to stay if they were to manage to integrate socially and economically.