Two Working Parents Means More Grandparents Moving to Help with Childcare

Survey also reveals Millennials are “boomeranging”

Apr 19, 2015 – Forget warmer climates … more Baby Boomers are retiring near their adult children to help care for grandchildren.

According to the Mayflower Movers Insights Survey, one in four U.S. adults with children are more willing to move closer to their adult children now compared to one year ago. And, half of Americans believe that Boomers are more needed in the same town as their children and grandchildren than they were five years ago.

“Every day our Mayflower agents across the country are moving hundreds of families to their new homes, and many agents report that they’re seeing more Boomers move to be near their children and grandchildren,” said Melissa Sullivan, director, marketing communications, Mayflower. “This survey data supports the trend that our agents are seeing in the field, and helps us not only analyze where our customers move, but understand the reasons why.”

Forty percent of survey respondents said their friends and family members age 50 or older have moved in the last year to be closer to their children and grandchildren in order to provide care for grandchildren. Additionally, one in five Americans said their friends and family members moved because their children needed additional help with their kids because both parents work. This new data complements the results of a 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics survey, which found that 59.1 percent of all U.S. families with children under the age of 18 had two working parents.

“Both my son and daughter-in-law work full-time and neither wanted to leave their jobs when my granddaughter was born, but they also didn’t want to spend a fortune on daycare,” said Wanda Dobson, a Mayflower customer who recently relocated from Rolla, Mo. to St. Louis to be near family and provide support with childcare. “I wanted to be able to see my grandkids grow up so I decided to move to St. Louis to help care for the baby while mom and dad are at work.”

“Family dynamics have shifted dramatically over the last 50 years, largely due to the increasing number of families with two working parents, high rate of divorce, large number of cohabiting couples, and single parents,” said Dr. Philip Cohen, a professor of sociology at the University of Maryland who studies household and family structure. “All of these factors have led to an increased need for childcare across the U.S. and therefore an increased reliance on grandparents for support.”

The Boomerang Effect – Once Fleeing the Coop, Millennials are Returning Home

The Mayflower Movers Insights Study also found that one in four U.S Millennials (age 18 to 34) have moved back to their hometown in the past five years. When asked why they’re moving home, 68 percent of Millennial respondents cited that they wished to be closer to family, friends and significant others. An additional 18 percent said they were moving to help care for family members.

“After college, my husband and I moved to Los Angeles to start our careers,” said Ashley Luther, a Mayflower customer. “But when we wanted to buy a house, we decided to move back to our hometown of St. Louis because it offers a much more affordable cost of living and allows us to be closer to family as we settle down and think about having children.”

Ashley and her husband are not alone in following this logic. One-third of U.S. Millennials who do not currently live in their hometown would consider moving to their hometown at some point in their life. The top three reasons for considering a move are to be closer to family, friends and significant others (67 percent), to care for family (29 percent) and to settle down and start a family (17 percent).

“Boomers had fewer children than previous generations, and therefore had more time to devote to nurturing their relationships with their kids. These stronger relationships probably are a big factor that is drawing Millennials back to live in their hometown near their parents,” added Dr. Cohen. “Many of these Millennials appear to be moving back to their hometowns to receive help from their parents with childcare, but there’s also a large number who are returning to provide care for their aging parents.”

Mayflower, America’s most recognized and trusted moving company, moves an average of 60,000 families each year and has 300 agents across the country. Read Mayflower’s moving tips to learn how to save time and money and avoid moving scams.

Survey Background and Methodology

Respondents to the survey were selected from Research Now’s consumer panel to reflect a general distribution of the consumer population, ages 18 years and older. Respondents were also selected by regional geographic distribution (South, West, Northeast, Midwest) to reflect U.S. demographics. Without knowledge of Mayflower’s sponsorship, 1,000 general U.S. adult population respondents completed the survey. Age/generation groups were assigned using the following criteria: Millennial: age 18-34; Gen X: age 35-49; Boomer: age 50-64; Pre-Boomer: age 65+. Additional samples were collected for Millennial and Boomer generational groups to ensure adequate sample sizes for questions specifically addressed to those groups. These responses were weighted to reflect standard U.S. distribution of age groups. For these (Millennial and Boomer) and additional 200 responses were collected for each group, resulting in a total of 1,400 total respondents.

Editor’s note: Additional survey data is available by request. If interested, please contact Melissa Sullivan at 636-349-2508 or

About Mayflower

Mayflower is America’s most recognized and trusted moving company. With headquarters in suburban St. Louis, Mayflower maintains a network of 300 affiliated agencies. For more information about Mayflower Transit and its services, visit or find us on Facebook.

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