Their employment prospects are dim, their debt is high, their lives are on hold and a stunning number are living with their parents, even into their 30s. They are young adults, 18 to 34, struggling to begin their adult lives during the worst economy since the Great Depression, and they risk becoming a lost generation, according to an extensive new study released Wednesday by two advocacy groups.
While begun long before the "Occupy Wall Street" movement, the research may help explain why so many young people are taking part in the protests.
Some data unearthed by the study by the advocacy groups Demos and The Young Invincibles, which combined an independent telephone poll with U.S. Census Bureau data, is stark and stunning. Rent is taking up nearly 33 percent more of young adults’ income than a decade ago -- at least for those who have their own place. But nearly 20 percent live with their parents. They are postponing buying a home, having children, even getting married.
“About half of young Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 believe that a fundamental tenet of the American dream is broken — that the next generation will be better off than they are,” the report concludes.