Some families need physical distance between them to get along. Others manage to coexist peacefully under the same roof, even across multiple generations. In fact, multigenerational living has grown more popular in recent years, and here, we'll discuss the pros, cons, and considerations for it.
What is multigenerational living?
The U.S Census Bureau defines the multigenerational home as a living arrangement with more than two adult generations living under the same roof. For example, if you and your spouse decide to live in the same home as your parents, that's multigenerational living. Some multigenerational living arrangements involve extended family as well.
Trends in multigenerational living
The concept of a multigenerational house isn't new. Back in the 1950s, an estimated 21% of households had adult children living with their parents, according to the Pew Research Center.
Those numbers dropped steadily through the years as more young adults sought independence from their elders, choosing to raise a single-family unit under one roof instead.
But then the Great Recession hit in 2007, lasting all the way until 2009, and in the middle of it, the housing bubble burst.
Suddenly, a large percentage of Americans lost their jobs, saw their investment portfolios tank, and quickly fell behind on their mortgages. And while the economy has clearly seen its share of recovery since then, it became more difficult to buy homes after the Great Recession due to stricter lending requirements.
It's not a coincidence, then, that the housing market saw an uptick in multigenerational families living under the same roof in 2009, with 17% of the U.S. population falling into that category. And by 2016, an estimated 64 million households, or 20% of Americans, were multigenerational.