People in the United States tend to share a common belief that multiple generations of family should not live together. Once we reach a certain age, we are expected to spread our proverbial wings and fly. But thanks to the Great Recession, as well as cultural influences, this belief has been changing in recent years.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, out of the 76 million family households in the United States, 5.6% of them are multi-generational. A multi-generational family (“MGF”) is a living situation in which grandparents, parents, and children all live under the same roof. In other words, over 4.3 million households out there are putting aside the belief that multiple generations should not live together. Of course, this makes sense. In times of trouble, such as a devastating financial recession, who else do you rely upon to get by, if not family?
The growth in the number of MGF units has really exploded since 2010. This is exemplified by the fact that between 2000 and 2010, MGF units grew from 3.7% of the total to 4.0%. Since 2010, however, that percentage has risen by 1.6%!
The regions of the country with the highest number of MGF units are the South and the West. In the southern U.S. the states of Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Texas, as well as the District of Columbia, were all above the national average (5.6%); the western states of Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and New Mexico were also above the national average.