Saturday, January 1, 2011

Multigenerational households on the rise

The wife and I were recently discussing the number of people in their mid 20s to 30s that we know who have recently moved back in with their parents. All of them did so out of necessity...they had lost jobs in other parts of the nation and moved back to their place of birth.

As it turns out, it wasn't our imaginations.

Multi-generational households are on a dramatic rise in the United States. That is, households with more than one adult generation living under one roof.

Today, 49 million Americans - one in six - live in a home with at least two adult generations, or a grandparent and one other generation. That's 21 million more than in 1980.

A 133% rise in multigenerational households in the past 30 years is a significant number, considering a previous trend downward for most of a century prior...and compared to the less than 50% increase in the general US population.

A rise in multigenerational households is not a sign of increasing prosperity. Living with ones parents at an increasing rate isn't something an increasingly prosperous people do. It's a sign of a contraction. People consolidating.

Americans are consolidating. And have been more and more for the past 30 years.

This is a symptom of a trend that can be reversed, stretching from the dawn of trickle down economics.

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