America is changing, and sometimes in ways people don’t always expect. New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that more and more Americans are living in households with multiple generations. According to figures released late last year, about 5.6% of American families are living in multigenerational homes. That equates to about 4.3 million households throughout the country.
While the 4.3 million multigenerational households is only a small portion of the 76 million American households, that number has increased dramatically over the past couple of years. In 2000 only 3.7% of all households were multigenerational. 10 years later, in 2010, that percentage had increased to only 4%.
But, between 2010 and 2012 there was a 1.6% jump in the number of multigenerational households. Researchers say that the increase is due in large part to an increased number of new immigrant families who tend to live in the same home.
However, the shift may also be partly attributed to the rise in the number of Americans reaching old age. Many of these people are deciding to move in with their adult children and grandchildren. The trend has grown significantly and has even spurred a change in home construction. More and more homebuilders are offering structures featuring separate living quarters for elderly family members.
The increase in multigenerational homes can also be explained in light of the changing economic reality for many families. By combining generations under a single roof families are able to save more and provide elderly family members with needed care.