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Millennials Drive Growth of Multi-generational Households

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A record 57 million Americans — or 18 percent of the U.S. population — lived in multi-generational homes in 2012, double the number who lived in such households in 1980, with young adults leading the trend, according to an analysis of Census data by the Pew Research Center.

“After three decades of steady but measured growth, the arrangement of having multiple generations together under one roof spiked during the Great Recession of 2007-2009 and has kept on growing in the post-recession period, albeit at a slower pace,” wrote Richard Fry and Jeffrey S. Passel, the co-authors of the study.

Millennials are driving the multi-generational housing trend, according to Pew. Today, young adults are now more likely than oldest adults to live in a multi-generational household. About 24 percent of people aged 25 to 43 live with their parents, grandparents or both. That’s up from 19 percent in 2007, just prior to the housing crash and subsequent global  financial crisis.

“Historically, the nation’s oldest Americans have been the age group most likely to live in multi-generational households,” Pew found. “But in recent years, younger adults have surpassed older adults in this regard. In 2012, 22.7 percent of adults ages 85 and older lived in a multi-generational household, just shy of the 23.6 percent of adults ages 25 to 34 in the same situation.” 

After the Great Recession of 2007-2009, multi-generational households spiked as young adults moved in with their parents or grandparents, the report said. A multi-generational family is defined as one with two or more generations of adults living together.

Pew found that the number of multi-generational household soared during the recession. Poor job and wag growth and the trend in delaying  adulthood have made young adults the leading group affecting the increase in multi-generational families, Pew said.

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