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Parasite Singles

Updated on December 8, 2013

Parasite singles is a term first used by sociologist Masahiro Yamada from Japan. It describes people who prefer to live at home with their parents to continue enjoying a comfortable life at home without even to pay their way, even though they are working. To this date there are over 8 million parasite singles in Japan. This situation also occurs in countries like Brazil, Italy, Colombia and Argentina, even more as a result of the global economic crisis. Although the trend is more inclined for people to stay at home until marriage, there are young people that even after marriage and having children still live in the same house.


Unemployment is one of the main causes of the existence of parasite singles, the difficulty in getting a job that pays enough to afford a single life.

In these cases, and in the process of labor and economic instability, living in the house the parents can be considered an emergency measure, and very understandable. However even young single people with jobs are staying at home. Living in large cities has always represented a considerable cost, along with food and transportation, especially in Japan where it is common to pay up to 4-5 months of rent in advance. For many people, living alone in the city involves consuming two thirds of salary on fixed monthly expenses, thus restricting the ability to save, invest, or spend on luxuries. However, economic difficulties have always existed in large cities of any country, it is not only a question of unemployment or insufficient salaries, in many cases, young people are reluctant to give up the amenities offered by parents, such as doing the cleaning, cooking、paying bills etc.

Singles who don't want to leave

Although single parasites feeling they can not cover their own expenses if living at home, they prefer to spend their money on luxury items such as designer clothing, technological devices and eating out. There are Parasite singles in Japan driving $40,000 cars. The demand for these goods have increased slightly in recent years, but not for an effective improvement of the economic situation of the people, but is largely due to this phenomenon. In many cases, these characters stay home their parents without providing money for normal household expenses such as rent, food, home services, among others.

Perspective of parents

In most cases and especially in Japan the parents enjoy the company of children, especially once they have reached a certain age when life is less hectic and stay at home longer. The permanent stay of children in the house not a much greater expense, because you would have to pay the same amount for the lease, the internet, cable television etc. it's just the extra food costs.

Many parents prefer their children (especially daughters) to accompany them at home. Parents want their children to have a better life or more comfortable life than they had, and they agree that the best way to do that is keeping them close, providing all the amenities needed.

However many people do frown on these Parasite singles, accusing them of being lazy. In a country like Japan, young people want to keep up with the latest fashions, trends and have the latest electronic devices such as Smart phones, tablets etc. The only way for many is to save rent by living with parents.


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    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 4 years ago from Japan

      The parasite term came from Japan so likely to be inaccurate for an English definition. Japan is also very welcoming for large members of family in the home. It is very common here in Japan to have Children, Parents and Grandparent living under the same roof. That is probably why so many people drive Wagon type cars, 7-8 seaters. e.g. Honda Stepwgn, Toyota Noah etc.. At the same time, there are also Japanese who want to live an independent life once graduating and finding a job. These are the people that tend to frown upon the parasite singles. Which their 1st job they could probably just afford a Kei-Car (Japanese lite Engine car 660cc) while their neighbor earning half the salary is driving a brand new Nissan El Grande worth $40,000 - $50,000.

    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 4 years ago from Japan

      @Alphadogg16 - That may also big a factor.

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 4 years ago from California, United States of America

      Well-said, and very correct, Bob (diogenes).

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Parasite (should be parasitic) Singles. Another of these damning labels. In a healthy society, the young and old of a family are welcomed into the home at any time until they decide to move on or pass on. Not in the so called First World where we jam our old into cold nursing homes or kick our kids out into the street. Funny how the "poor" nations are more compassionate towards their old and young. Perhaps we are the poorer in reality.


    • Alphadogg16 profile image

      Kevin W 4 years ago from Texas

      I may be wrong, but I was under the impression that the parents decided the life course of the children and what job the pursue. That could also be a factor, but it is very prominent in the US as well. Thumbs up on your hub Hezekiah.