According to figures from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the number of multigenerational households in the country has increased dramatically in recent years. In 2012, there were about 4.3 million households in the country in which more than two generations lived. That number, equivalent to about 5.6% of the population, represents a significant increase from the 2010 levels in which about 4% of American households were multigenerational homes.
The number of these households has been increasing over the years, but the 1.6% increase of the past two years was a significant rise compared to previous increases. For example, in 2000 about 3.7% of all households were multigenerational, meaning that there had only been a .3% increase between 2000 and 2010.
There are several possible factors that led to the significant increase, but researchers say one key factor is the rise in the number of new immigrant families moving into areas where there is either a lack of available housing, or housing prices are too high. The states that saw the largest increases in the number of multigenerational family housing were located primarily in the West and Southwest, where such families were more prevalent.
The rise may also be due in part because of the number of baby boomers reaching retirement age. About 10,000 boomers are retiring every day. As they and their adult children continue to deal with the sluggish economy, many are finding it more economically viable to combine households to reduce costs, as well as save money on elder care expenses associated with aging.