Belfast Telegraph

Inside: Boomeranging

At 35.3%, Northern Ireland has the highest percentage of young adults (aged 20-34) living with their parents in the UK.

By comparison, London had the lowest proportion of these so-called 'Boomerangers', at 19.7%, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS said the size of Northern Ireland meant it was more feasible to commute to work, or university, and remain at the parental home.

It said another factor was "the prevalence of cohabitation in Northern Ireland is around half of that observed in the rest of the UK.

"Conversely, the average age at first marriage in Northern Ireland is around a year lower than in England and Wales.

"These factors paint a more traditional picture of families in Northern Ireland, whereby young adults move out of the parental home later, cohabit less and marry earlier than in the rest of the UK.

"In other words, the time between leaving home and marrying may be shorter in Northern Ireland than elsewhere."

The ONS report, Young Adults Living With Parents in the UK, said London's low figure was because it "has a large influx of young adults from other areas of the UK and from abroad due to increased employment and study opportunities.

"Sharing a household with friends, or housemates, is more common among young adults and migrants than older adults as a way of reducing the cost of housing.

"In 2011 in London, 6.8% of households consisted of two or more people who were unrelated – more than double the national average of 3.2%."

So prevalent is the trend, I found a list of house rules for Boomerangers on the internet:

* Work: A working child at home might be bearable. A child on the dole, playing video games in their pyjamas, rather less so.

* Meals at mealtimes: Nothing is more annoying for a parent than washing up after a meal only for a grown child to come in and make a fresh mess.

* Contribute: Ideally cash, but failing that, cooking/cleaning/general errands.

* Politeness: Once you're an adult, your parents are no longer legally obliged to look after you (ie say thanks, pay compliments, etc).

* Low-impact socialising: A party of five-year-olds is noisy, but manageable. A party of 25-year-olds is noisy and unstoppable.

* Progress (or at least the illusion of it): Nothing will dampen the parental spirits like the idea that the Boomeranging might be permanent. Talk noisily about how you're planning to move out (even if you're not).

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