Could you live with your children or parents again? It may surprise you to hear that more people are giving it a try. Multigenerational households are making a comeback, says a recent report from the Pew Internet Research Center.
The report is based on U.S. statistics, but you can bet the rest of the world is watching too. The center’s analysis of recent census data shows an increase in the number of households that span three generations. Currently, an estimated 49 million Americans — about 16 per cent of the population — live in a multigenerational household. (There’s even one in the White House.) That’s an increase of 2.5 million people since 2007, and up 4 per cent from the lowest point in 1980. The proportion of multigenerational households hasn’t been this high in about 50 years, when numbers were decreasing following World War II.
Not surprisingly, Zoomers play a pivotal role. On average, one in five people over the age of 55 are living in a multigenerational home. If they aren’t opening their homes to their adult children — often with a partner or children in tow — then they’re welcoming a parent or loved one. In some cases, there’s a generation missing: grandparents are raising their grandchildren.
What’s behind this trend? Job losses and a lack of opportunities affected baby boomers and younger generations alike, and most people saw their stocks and savings take a serious hit. Merging households makes living expenses more affordable and can help compensate for a job loss or shrunken retirement savings. Some generations are even selling their respective homes and purchasing a new dwelling to meet everyone’s needs and budget.
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