Large numbers of Americans enacted their own cost-cutting program in the depths of the Great Recession, according to Pew Research: They moved in with relatives. This helped fuel the largest increase in modern history in the number of Americans living in multi-generational households. From 2007 to 2009, the total spiked from 46.5 million to 51.4 million.
This demographic shift presents an opportunity for builders offering floorplans that are designed for or can be altered for multi-generational families.
Living with extended family appears to be a financial lifeline for many. Although their adjusted incomes overall are lower, the poverty rate among people living in multi-generational households is substantially smaller than for those in other households — 11.5 percent vs. 14.6 percent in 2009, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data.
Moreover, the potential benefits of living in multi-generational households are greatest for the groups that have been most affected by the Great Recession. Among the unemployed, the poverty rate in 2009 was 17.5 percent for those living in multi-generational households, compared with 30.3 percent for those living in other households. Members of other economically vulnerable groups — young adults, Hispanics and blacks — who live in extended families also experience sharply lower poverty rates than those in other households.
Read the full report for more details, including:
- The demographics of multigenerational households
- The increase in young adults moving back in with families
- Trends for racial and ethnic groups
- Levels of household income and poverty rates
- How income is shared in multigenerational households