A new report released on Thursday from the Pew Research Center found that three in ten 25 to 34 year olds were living at home with their parents.
The report also found that young Hispanics are more likely than young whites and blacks to have moved back in with their parents temporarily because of economic conditions.
The report confirms a September study by the Population Reference Bureau (PRB), which went farther in expressing statistical differences between Hispanic men and women — namely that men are moving back home but Latinas are continuing a pattern of post-college independence.
“If you look at this over time from 2007 to present, there is a really big increase of Latino men living at home with their parents,” says PRB demographer Mark Mather.
Mather says in 2007, before the recession, 12 percent of young Latino men returned home. Now that figure has grown to 21 percent. During the same period, Latinas only went up from 9 to 11 percent.
These figures may be fueled by both financial and cultural considerations.
Mather says Latinas are enrolling in college 10 percent more than Hispanic men.
“More Latinas are going to school, so there is more earning potential compared to 20, 30 years ago,” Mather says. “These Latinas don’t necessarily need a man in their life to feel secure.”
Dr. Ramona Hernandez, the director of the City College of New York Dominican Studies Institute, cites cultural explanations for why Latinas continue to move out.
“We can not deny that for a woman this also means freedom from a protective family,” she says. “They’re thinking, ‘My parents have always been very protective, but caramba, I know I can make it out there without having them right next to me.’”
“It may have been seen as being for her own good but now she’s grown up, went to college, spent time away from home and knows she can do it alone,” she says. “Why return home?”
Lissette Rodriguez, 27, is one such woman.
Growing up in Miami in a traditional Cuban family, Rodriguez says her parents only wanted her to be a good daughter. That meant they picked up the dry cleaning bill and she didn’t need to pay rent or for her car. But there was one problem.
“The umbilical cord was still attached,” she says. “I think it’s like that for a lot of Hispanics. Cubans, in particular, shelter their daughters.”
Rodriguez, who was working in public relations in Miami, dreamed of moving to New York City to “work and play with the movers and shakers.” So that’s what she did after attending college at Florida International University.
Interestingly, Rodriguez says her brother ended up moving back home at the age of 25 and lived there for two years.
Dr. Hernandez says despite mounting evidence that women contribute in relationships, men continue to feel the heavy burden of being perceived as the supporter and main provider of the household. She says this is one of the main reasons they return home in larger numbers.
For Rodriguez, her move to New York was the fulfillment of a dream, but she appreciates the role her parents play in her life.
“I love my parents and the values they instilled in me — I will probably treat my daughter the same way,” she says. “But I was excited to move and eager to have a sense of responsibility.”
“To this day I’m excited to pay my rent, my cable bill and buy groceries. It’s a grown up thing.”