Multigenerational households continue to grow, a trend we termed More Under One Roof in our Things to Watch in 2009, as the recession was getting well under way. New research from the Pew Research Center shows that 18 percent of the U.S. population lived in a multigenerational household as of 2012, up 50 percent from 1980. That translates into 57 million Americans in these households, almost twice as many as was the case in 1980.
A key driver of the trend is Millennials, who are continuing to grapple with the effects of the recession but also tend to regard parents as friends (“peerents”). According to Pew, almost 24 percent of adults 25 to 34 live with multiple generations, up from 11 percent in 1980, and more Millennials than seniors (ages 85 and older) now live in multigenerational households. This trend has significant ripple effects in the economy as so many members of this generation delay adulthood and the traditional milestones of getting married, buying a house and having children, as USA Today notes. As they do so, we’re seeing the social normalization of living with one’s parents into adulthood.