Multigenerational family living – defined as a household that includes two or more adult generations, or one that includes grandparents and grandchildren – is growing among nearly all U.S. racial groups as well as Hispanics, among all age groups and among both men and women. The share of the population living in this type of household declined from 21% in 1950 to a low of 12% in 1980. Since then, multigenerational living has rebounded, increasing sharply during and immediately after the Great Recession of 2007-09.
In 2009, 51.5 million Americans (17% of the population) lived in multigenerational households, according to data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. In 2012, 57 million Americans – 18% of the U.S. population – were part of multigenerational homes, according to the last major Pew Research Center analysis of this data.
Among U.S. Asians, 28% lived in multigenerational family households in 2014, according to census data. Among Hispanics and blacks, the share in 2014 was 25% for each group. Among U.S. whites, 15% lived with multiple generations of family members.
In recent years, young adults have been the age group most likely to live in multigenerational households (previously, it had been older adults). Among 25- to 29-year-olds in 2014, 31% were residents of such households. Among a broader group of young adults, those ages 18 to 34, living with parents surpassed other living arrangements in 2014 for the first time in more than 130 years. Education levels make a difference, though: Young adults without college degrees now are more likely to live with parents than to be married or cohabiting in their own homes, but those with college degrees are more likely to be living with a spouse or partner in their own homes.
Among all Americans, women (20% in 2014) are more likely than men (18%) to live with multiple generations under one roof. This pattern has been true for decades, but it is not the case for all age groups. For adults ages 25 to 44, men are more likely than women to live in multigenerational homes (22% vs. 19%, respectively). Among 25- to 29-year-olds in 2014, 34% of men and 29% of women lived in multigenerational households. Among 30- to 34-year-olds, 21% of men and 17% of women did so.