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Croatia’s Boomerang Generation

My name is George, I am unemployed and I live with my parents. Once an amusing quote coined by George Costanza on the hit American tv-series Seinfeld, is now a reality for many adult Croatians.

The number of Croatians who are moving back to the family nest over the age of 30 has soared over the past 12 months as the recession kicks in. Many young professionals in the nation’s capital Zagreb have been effected by large-scale redundancies and ballooning interest rates and have decided to put their tails between their legs and head back to where it is financially more viable – home.

“I moved back home about two months ago after I was laid off by the firm I was working for. I could not meet the monthly bank repayments on my flat, so my only option was to go back home,” said 34-year-old Tomislav from Novi Zagreb, adding that the move has effected the social component of his life.

“Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind the perks of being back at home such as dinner on the table and having my clothes washed, but entertaining female friends is a bit difficult in this environment, ” quipped Tomislav.

The rate of those in their 30’s still living in the family home in Croatia is high compared with much of western Europe, a tradition Croatia shares with its Italian neighbours, where a third of Italian adults live with their parents.

“I am looking for a job, soon as I land something I will move out again, it is quiet difficult and I have not had much luck. Mum and Dad might have to put up my mess for a while yet, ” joked Tomislav.

Jelena (32), is another Croat who has had to bite the bullet and return back to the family home after 6 years of her independence. “Our firm closed down and I was left without a salary. I had savings so I stretched it out as long as I could, hoping I would find a job, but eventually i had to move back home. I don’t feel that bad about it and I am not the only one in my circle of friends who is at home. If my parents could have it their way they would want me to stay at home forever! They are enjoying it that I am back, I can’t say that the feeling is 100% mutual. I miss my independence,” Jelena told Croatia Week.

It looks like George Costanza’s famous pick-up line might get some mileage yet in Croatia as the Boomerang gerneration looks here to stay for a while.


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