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The NY Times is Calling Gen Y the ‘Go-Nowhere Generation’. Gee. Thanks, Guys.

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Photo courtesy of Gary Simmons.

According to this New York Time’s article, young Americans in their 20s and 30s aren’t likely to move around much and when they do, it’s to move back in with mom and dad. 

The kicker? Apparently it has nothing to do the crappy economy, because this was true of American Gen Y-ers even prior to the 2008 recession.

Here’s the Skinny:

The Census Bureau estimates that the odds of a 20-something moving to another state has decreased by 40 percent since the 1980s. And apparently not only are young people less likely to move away from their home state, but they’re also less likely to move away from their home, period. The Pew Research Center found that between 1980 and 2009, the number of young adults opting to live with their parents almost doubled.

Well.

It’s hard to say what to make of this information. I have a hard time believing that my American millennial peers are as risk averse as those studies make us out to be.

Because as a Gen Y-er who has moved 20 times in 10 years (five of which were to cities abroad), I certainly don’t match what the article dubbed “Generation Why Bother”…and I don’t know any 20-something who does. This could have to do with the fact that I live in Las Vegas (an ueber transient city where meeting someone who was actually born and raised here is usually greeted with a surprised, “Seriously?! You were born here?”). Or it could be that as a chronic mover myself, I tend to gravitate towards like-minded nomadic types.

But if the research is accurate, then this begs the question: WHY? I mean, last I checked, holing up in your parents’ basement is something a 20-something does when he or she has few other options…it’s not by any means the ‘cool’ thing to do, right? 
 
Thoughts?
 
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4 thoughts on “The NY Times is Calling Gen Y the ‘Go-Nowhere Generation’. Gee. Thanks, Guys.

  1. So in one fell swoop, authors Todd and Victoria Buchholz have given grief to mobility lacking millennials and they’ve managed to implicate us for the state of the economy. They also accuse us of complacency along with having a greater dependency on “luck”.

    Could it perhaps be that many millennials simply don’t have the opportunity for upward mobility that the Buchholzs’ generation had? I wonder if Todd realizes Harvard law now costs FIVE times what it cost in the 80s when he earned his JD. I wonder if the Buchholzs realize that housing costs have DOUBLED between 1985 to 2006, right when many mellennials were trying to spread their wings and get out on their own.

    While housing prices have doubled and education costs have increased exponentially, average wages in the US have increased by a paltry 35%. Yet my generation is mobility challenged because of Facebook and laziness?

    I’m sure it’s difficult for a $15 billion hedge fund manager to relate, but many in my generation simply don’t have the ability to work low paying, entry level jobs while paying down student loans and still have money left over for housing. With the fickle economy that’s been rife with layoffs and furloughs, it’s frankly not in our best interest to leave friends and family behind to hop on a bus to North Dakota, as the Buchholzs suggest we do.

    To be clear, I’m not defending myself, I’m defending my generation. I DID move across the USA for a job (twice). But I respect and admire those who have remained put to make odds and ends work in our challenging economy. It’s a different world today, and I’m continually inspired by the many in my generation who’ve still managed to get out and see the world in spite of all the challenges.

  2. @Ed.

    “I wonder if Todd realizes Harvard law now costs FIVE times what it cost in the 80s when he earned his JD. I wonder if the Buchholzs realize that housing costs have DOUBLED between 1985 to 2006, right when many mellennials were trying to spread their wings and get out on their own.”

    GREAT POINT!!!!!

  3. Seems like a straightforward and rational reaction to economic collapse and skyrocketing education costs. The author doesn’t seem to offer a feasible alternative – just the usual Boomer self-indulgence.

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