This study from researchers at UCLA was first released back in February, but it looks like it’s just now come to the attention of both the LA Times and myself: While it’s unfortunately not unusual for young people to move back home with their parents during times of economic hardship, it appears that upper-middle-aged Californian adults have lately been moving back into their parents home at twice the rate of the under-30 crowd:

For seven years through 2012, the number of Californians aged 50 to 64 who live in their parents’ homes swelled 67.6% to about 194,000, according to the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development.

And, before you ask, the driving factor apparently doesn’t have nearly as much to do with caring for parents getting on in years as it does the continuing fallout from the economic recession:

The jump is almost exclusively the result of financial hardship caused by the recession rather than for other reasons, such as the need to care for aging parents, said Steven P. Wallace, a UCLA professor of public health who crunched the data.

“The numbers are pretty amazing,” Wallace said. “It’s an age group that you normally think of as pretty financially stable. They’re mid-career. They may be thinking ahead toward retirement. They’ve got a nest egg going. And then all of a sudden you see this huge push back into their parents’ homes.”

Many more young adults live with their parents than those in their 50s and early 60s live with theirs. Among 18- to 29-year-olds, 1.6 million Californians have taken up residence in their childhood bedrooms, according to the data.

Though that’s a 33% jump from 2006, the pace is half that of the 50 to 64 age group. …

Long-term unemployment is especially acute for older people. The number of Americans 55 and older who have been out of work for a year or more was 617,000 at the end of December, a fivefold jump from the end of 2007 when the recession hit, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Wow. For what is supposed to be an unencumbered super-blue paradise, California certainly has some entrenched economic problems, including unemployment currently holding at above eight percent and worsening rates of poverty and downward mobility. I don’t know of any comparative studies from other states, but that is certainly not an attractive statistic — and the widespread trend of young adults moving back in with their ‘rents is certainly a national one in these times of ongoing economic weakness (and the same is certainly true recession-wracked Europe).