Increase in Multigenerational Households
The concept of multigenerational homes is not new. In the early 20th century, an estimated 57 percent of over the age of 65 lived with extended family. After advances in medicine, Social Security, and Medicare after World War II, older people were more medically and financially stable to live on their own. By the 1990s, only 17 percent of elders were living in multigenerational homes. But that number is on the rise once again.
From 2000 to 2009, American households saw a 30 percent increase in households that include at least three generations of family members. Today, 6.6 million homes are multigenerational, an increase that is fueled by both economic and health trends.
Both older and younger adults are moving into multigenerational housing situations. Recent graduates are becoming "boomerang kids"; decreased job prospects and national housing crunches are encouraging young people to move back home after college.
Baby boomers are also feeling the crunch. As 78 million people enter an aging demographic, housing options are shrinking and many adults are living with their grown children and grandchildren in multigenerational homes. Older women seem to be more likely than older men to enter multigenerational households, due in part to differences in lifespans.