Will the kids ever leave home?
One of the funny things about doing population forecasting is the response you get from clients about certain issues. One such issue that cuts close to the bone is this vexed issue of when will the children leave home?
Share of population aged 25-29 by relationship in household, 2006, selected locations
Source: ABS, 2006 Census of Population and Housing
This issue seems to be less problematic for country people. The young people finish school and tend to do one of two things. They leave the area to study or work in the big smoke or maybe a regional centre. Alternatively, they stay in the local area, get a job (where possible!) and get on with their lives. This means saying bye to mum and dad and behaving like an adult.
Now, this concept is positively frightening for those of you, like me, who grew up in one of the endless comfortable and relaxed suburbs in the capital cities of Australia. It’s so conveniently close to university and TAFE, close to banal casual jobs in the retail sector and mum (or dad? not likely) will do your washing. No scary decisions to be made, no major financial outlays, no need to make any extraordinary commitment – perfect for an arts / humanities student. “I’ll think about that stuff later when I have to.” See below.
I was walking past a house near where I live, where a concerned mother and a twenty something year old daughter were discussing engine troubles. Clearly, the car was going nowhere. The daughter turned to her mother and said “What are you going to do about my car?”
There are few solutions to this problem. Some possibilities include:
1. Funding your child’s overseas trip and hope they sort it out while they are away
2. Sell your home from underneath your children – a little drastic
3. Become friends with your children on Facebook and continually embarrass them until you can strike up a deal to get them out!
Even if you can get them to leave, there’s no guarantee they won’t be back……