Unemployment, cost of living but also cultural traditions… There are a whole bunch of reasons why young people leave the family nest at different ages, and later than in the past. In Europe, children from Northern countries leave before the age of 25, while those from the South only gain independence after 30.
We call it the Tanguy generation, in reference to the film by Etienne Chatiliez, a comedy released in 2001 with André Dussollier and Sabine Azéma in the role of parents of a young adult with a diploma and perfectly integrated enough into working life to be take responsibility for himself. Except that Tanguy, played at the time by Eric Berger, does not want to leave the family home. The storyline of this film has become that of a social phenomenon indicating that children are leaving home later and later. The Anglo-Saxons call them the Boomerang generation.
According to INSEE calculations for the year 2018, nearly one in two young French people aged between 18 and 29 still lived with their parents due to a long university course, if not a socio-economic context. professional not favorable to their surge, such as unemployment. There are also these older children who have no other choice than to return to Mom and Dad, in a period of inflation, or after complicated personal situations such as a divorce. In 2015, the Abbé Pierre Foundation estimated that 1.3 million young adults over the age of 25 lived with their parents or grandparents.
The fledging age varies from 21 to 33 years!
When we zoom out and gain perspective on the whole of Europe, the reality becomes more nuanced. On average, young people leave home at the age of 26 years and 4 months, according to figures from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. But this average brings together many disparities, because in Croatia, we only take flight at 33 years and 4 months! And this is no exception. In Slovakia (30 years and 8 months), Greece (30 years and 7 months), Bulgaria and Spain (30 years and 3 months), Malta (30 years and one month) and Italy (30 years), children leave the family nest after 30 years. Conversely, it is the countries of Northern Europe which are home to the fewest “Tanguy”, with offspring who become independent at the age of 21 years and 3 months in Finland. In Sweden (21 years and 4 months), Denmark (21 years and 7 months) and Estonia (22 years and 7 months), people become independent at a very young age.
Women more quickly independent
In the same way that unemployment was mentioned as a situation requiring people to return to their parents, other young Europeans experience a complicated professional context. Last May, the unemployment rate reached 12.7% in Spain (28.5% among those under 25) and 10.8% in Greece (24% among young people), compared to 4.9% in Denmark. (9% among young people) according to official figures. But this is only part of the explanation because, for example, in Central Europe, the unemployment rate was only around 2.9% (6.1% among those under 25). ) while young people leave their parents between the ages of 23 and 27. Furthermore, young European women become independent earlier than men, at 25 years and 4 months compared to 27 years and 3 months for these gentlemen. The gap can be quite significant as in Bulgaria where the differential is of the order of 4 and a half years, when women leave home at 25 years and 4 months compared to 29 years and 9 months for men.
In 2014, the phenomenon of the Tanguy generation was already highlighted by the Eurofound organization, which put forward the weight of cultural traditions as explanations for these different ages from which Europeans take off. “Even if young people have jobs, they are not as stable and permanent as those of their parents and grandparents. The rise in the cost of real estate further complicates things and slows down their departure from the family home” , explained researcher Anna Ludwinek to the Canadian media La Presse.