It’s a funny world that we live in. In Australia, it is considered unusual for anyone in their early twenties to be living at home. Parents aren’t seen as unloving for wanting their kids to move out at the age of 18, and young people are generally pretty keen to get their freedom when the time comes along.

In Slovakia on the other hand, new research (as seen in this NY Times article) shows that a whopping 74% of adults between 18 and 34, regardless of employment or marital status, are still living with their parents. And the same trend is present in many of the states of Eastern Europe – namely many of those that have lived under Communism until relatively recently.

Sure, this is weird to the Western mentality. But what’s the right thing? Is there even a right or wrong thing? Who says that moving out quicker is better than staying home for longer? I guess it comes down to the reasons behind the lifestyle, and the issues that may result.

If you’re living at home in Australia, it’s probably to save money, and to be “looked after”. Of course, for ethnic families it’s more about tradition. Being of Sri-Lankan background, I never expected to leave before getting married, and that’s how it turned out. You could say that Slovakians have similar reasoning – rent is a factor (especially after the recent financial crisis, and housing shortages has had further impact on this), and the fact that there is no stigma attached to the traditional way of staying home until, and perhaps even after, marriage.

I guess it comes down to whether staying with your parents is a detrimental move (or lack thereof) for the parties involved – and I can certainly think of a few probable issues. For one, it contributes to a culture of not growing up, where there’s always someone to fall back on. As for newlyweds starting their lives with the in-laws, that’s bound to put some pressures on the relationship.

What do you think? Is 35 too late to move out or is it perfectly fine for families to keep growing within the one house?

Tamara El-Rahi is an associate editor of MercatorNet. A Journalism graduate from the University of Technology Sydney, she lives in Australia with her husband and two daughters.