It is not easy to check out from Mama Hotel 

There are some young adults who find it convenient to have “room service” and hot meals every day, but the majority of them are forced to live at home. Buying or even renting an apartment has become a fantasy for many young Hungarians. 

Ivett Körösi
Ivett Körösi Nepszava, Hungary
Source: Nepszava
It is not easy to check out from Mama Hotel  - NewsMavens
A hotel. Image from Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

Although Mama Hotel definitely deserves 5 stars, most guests cannot wait to check out. Unfortunately, this is not a story about a new hotel chain. “Mama Hotel” is a term coined by young Hungarians to describe a family home one grew up in and cannot afford to leave as an adult.

For our parents’ generation it was normal to move out and start a life of their own as soon as they found a job. These days, almost half of Hungarian young adults stay at home. The phenomenon is not specific to Hungary -- the same is true in several European countries that were severely hit by the crisis.

Spain is one of them. The Spanish also came up with a term to describe this unlucky generation: “generación NiNi”. “Ni estudian, ni trabajan” -- they neither work, nor study.

The situation is not that alarming in Hungary. According to a recent study, the majority of “guests” actually work -- they just cannot afford to check out. Of course, there are some who find it convenient to have “room service” and hot meals every day, but most of young adults who choose to live at home simply do not have other options. Buying or renting an apartment has become a fantasy for many. Especially, since parents usually do not have enough savings to help their children buy real estate.

The recent popularity of Hotel Mama is a worrying trend. It is a testimony to the state of the Hungarian economy. It also explains why many young professionals decide to move abroad. They want to invest their knowledge in a country where renting or even buying an apartment is not a fantasy.

This phenomenon might have more long-term consequences. After all, who would want to start a family in a hotel?

Details from the story:

  • According to a recent poll by Eurostat, 44% of Hungarians aged 25-34 live with their parents.
  • This is not the highest rate in Europe, but over the past decade Hungary witnessed the biggest growth in this group.
  • The highest prevalence of Hotel Mama across Europe is in Slovakia. 56,6% of young adults aged 25-34 has not been able to start a life of their own.
  • Starting an independent life is the easiest in the Scandinavian region. Only one in 55 Danes has to live at home.
  • Janos Szabo, a sociologist, claims that the majority of young adults who stay at home do so due to financial reasons.
  • Since the 2008 financial crisis, people have become much more cautious with their spending. Many are afraid of loans.
  • Hotel Mama does not only host singles but sometimes also married couples who cannot afford to live on their own. This might affect family planning negatively, warns the sociologist.


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