Multigenerational Households by the Numbers‏

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty | Northern Virginia | 703.635.0388 0225 189802

Multigenerational households are a demographic currently impacting us as real estate professionals, be that for cultural or familial reasons in general. 

Personally, I have had the pleasure of working with many eastern Indian clients recently.  I'm learning about the critical role elders play in the family, how homes are built in their native country, and how those traditions impact their homebuying decisions here in America (I'm getting very handy with a compass!).

I wanted to share a brief piece I pulled from MSN's Liz Pulliam Weston:

A record 49 million Americans, or 16.1% of the population, lived in a household that contained at least two adult generations in 2008, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of census data. Of that group, Pew reported that:

  • 47% lived in a household with two adult generations of the same family (with the youngest adult being at least 25).
  • 47% lived in a household with three or more generations of family members.
  • 6% were made up of a grandparent and grandchild, but no parent.

The Great Recession, with its high unemployment and foreclosure rates, is accelerating the trend. U.S. multigenerational households rose by 2.6 million, or more than 5%, just from 2007 to 2008.

But the popularity of multigenerational households has actually been on the rise since 1980, driven in part by an influx of Asian and Latino immigrants for whom living with parents and grandparents is often the norm.

It used to be more the norm for U.S. households, too. Around 1900, more than half of people 65 years or older lived in a multigenerational household, the Pew report said. At the end of the Great Depression -- the period in which the multigenerational TV show "The Waltons" was set -- one in four U.S. households had multiple adult generations.


Liz Pulliam Weston is the Web's most-read personal-finance writer. She is the author of several books, most recently "Your Credit Score: Your Money & What's at Stake." Weston's award-winning columns appear every Monday and Thursday, exclusively on MSN Money. She also answers reader questions on the Your Money message board and helps middle-class families cope at Building a Brighter Future.


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Lisa Moroniak

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