According to the Pew Research Center, the recession has helped fuel the largest increase in the number of Americans living in multi-generational households in modern history. From 2007 to 2009, the total spiked from 46.5 million to 51.4 million.
The poverty rate among people in multi-generational households is substantially smaller than for those in other households—11.5% vs. 14.6% in 2009, according to the new Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data.
Slightly more than a third of multi-generational households (4.2 million) encompassed three or more generations, for example, a householder, adult child and grandchild. The remaining multi-generational households, about 857,000, consist of two skipped generations—a grandparent and a grandchild.
According to Pew, the ability to pool financial resources is an advantage of multi-generational living, but it comes with a trade-off. Multi-generational households are relatively large—an average of 4.3 residents, compared with 2.4 in other households.
Key findings of the report include:
- The number of Americans living in multi-generational households increased 4.9 million from 2007 to 2009. By contrast, the number of people in other households rose by only 333,000.
- The number of young adults (ages 25 to 34) in multi-generational households increased to 8.7 million in 2009 from 7.4 million in 2007. Both the numerical growth (1.3 million people) and the percentage increase it represents (16.8%) were larger than for any other age group.
- The most likely groups to live in multi-generational households are Asians (25.8% in 2009), blacks (23.7%) and Hispanics (23.4%). The share among whites was much lower (13.1%).
- In 2009, 16.2% of foreign-born heads of household and 9.6% of native-born heads of household lived in multi-generational households.
- After adjusting to a household size of three, the median income for multi-generational households was $57,533 in 2009, or 2% less than the $59,002 median income for other households.
What do you think? Are you seeing this trend? Are you part of it?