A Record 60.6 Million Americans Live in Multigenerational Households

Jim Liebelt | Senior Editor of Publications for HomeWord | Monday, August 15, 2016

A Record 60.6 Million Americans Live in Multigenerational Households

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted by the Pew Research Center.

The number and share of Americans living in multigenerational family households has continued to rise, even though the Great Recession is now in the rear-view mirror. In 2014, a record 60.6 million people, or 19% of the U.S. population, lived with multiple generations under one roof, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of census data.

Multigenerational family living – defined as a household that includes two or more adult generations, or one that includes grandparents and grandchildren – is growing among nearly all U.S. racial groups as well as Hispanics, among all age groups and among both men and women.  The share of the population living in this type of household declined from 21% in 1950 to a low of 12% in 1980. Since then, multigenerational living has rebounded, increasing sharply during and immediately after the Great Recession of 2007-09.

Growing racial and ethnic diversity in the U.S. population helps explain some of the rise in multigenerational living. The Asian and Hispanic populations overall are growing more rapidly than the white population, and those groups are more likely than whites to live in multigenerational family households. Another growth factor is that foreign-born Americans are more likely than the U.S. born to live with multiple generations of family; Asians and Hispanics are more likely than whites to be immigrants.

Among U.S. Asians, 28% lived in multigenerational family households in 2014, according to census data. Among Hispanics and blacks, the share in 2014 was 25% for each group. Among U.S. whites, 15% lived with multiple generations of family members.

In recent years, young adults have been the age group most likely to live in multigenerational households (previously, it had been older adults). Among 25- to 29-year-olds in 2014, 31% were residents of such households. Among a broader group of young adults, those ages 18 to 34, living with parents surpassed other living arrangementsin 2014 for the first time in more than 130 years.  Education levels make a difference, though: Young adults without college degrees now are more likely to live with parents than to be married or cohabiting in their own homes, but those with college degrees are more likely to be living with a spouse or partner in their own homes.

The most common type of multigenerational household – home to 29.7 million Americans in 2014 – consists of two adult generations, such as parents and their adult children. We define adult children as being ages 25 or older, so our multigenerational households do not include most college students who live at home.

Source: Pew Research Center