This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Multigenerational Households on the Rebound

Multigenerational households are staging a comeback as young people find it economically more difficult than in the past to be out on their own. To be sure, this has been going on for a while now, as I noted several months ago, but Pew Research has a new report out summarizing recent trends.
A record 57 million Americans, or 18.1% of the population of the United States, lived in multi-generational family households in 2012, double the number who lived in such households in 1980.
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, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.
Young adults ages 25 to 34 have been a major component of the growth in the population living with multiple generations since 1980—and especially since 2010. By 2012, roughly one-in-four of these young adults (23.6%) lived in multi-generational households, up from 18.7% in 2007 and 11% in 1980.
Richard Fry and Jeffrey Passel, who authored the report, note that in the past, multigenerational households were most likely to consist of older people living with their children (to be sure, at one point, my mother and my mother-in-law were both living with my wife and I). Now, however, the trend is for young adults to be staying with, or moving back in with, their parents. This reverses the trend toward early exit from the parental home, as the graph below shows:

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