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Italy Crisis: Growing Number Of Adults Live In Family Home

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A growing number of Italian adults live with their parents. A study published on Wednesday reveals that almost a third of Italian adults are living back at their family homes, the Corriere della Sera reports.

The joint report by the social and market research firms Coldiretti and Censis indicates that Italians of all ages respond to the eurozone crisis by staying close to home and by relying heavily on family relationships, the Corriere adds.

The majority of people who live at home are between 18 and 29 year olds, but the trend equally applies to older generations. Among 30 to 44-year-olds, 25.3% live with their mothers. The rate drops to 11.8% for those between 45 and 64. Among Italians of all ages who had indicated not to live with their parents, 54% said they had close relatives within a 30-minute walk.

La Stampa writes that the trend is best explained by looking at Italy's socioeconomic organization, in which the family acts as the main welfare provider. Multiple generations living under one roof is traditionally how Italians cared for children and elderly. When a child lives at home into his 30s and 40s, they often take care of their aging parents, La Stampa details.

“The structure of Italian families in general, and of the rural ones in particular, is considered outdated. But it has proved fundamental in preventing many citizens from collapsing due to the difficulties caused by the crisis,” Coldiretti’s president Sergio Marini told the Corriere.

According to Italian news agency AGI, the new report hails its findings as proof that Italy's traditional family-based social fabric provides a protective buffer against economic hardship. Yet not everyone interprets the report's conclusions as such.

Gianmario Mariniello, national co-ordinator for the youth-wing of the centre-right Future and Freedom party, said that the figures reflect a degrading society that fails to offer enough opportunities for its young, according to PrimaPaginaNews.

After a period of autonomy, 77% of 18-29 year olds who had left the family home return living with their parents.

And they don’t do it gladly.

La Stampa rounded up testimonies on forums around the web revealing disappointment and resentment.

“I have been unemployed for two years. I have been a server, a workman, a plasterer, a barman,” writes Niko, 31. “I don’t work, I feel like a kept man.”

Teppista, 29, complains, “tonight I was told by my parents to come back home early. I don’t ask them for money but I couldn’t possibly assume the cost of a mortgage or even of rent. And if it was frustrating to be told to tidy my room 10 years ago, now it drives me crazy to have to justify my whereabouts.”

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