By Lisa Cannon Green
Young Americans may not share the same views as their elders, but increasingly they share the same roof.
More Americans than ever before—64 million in all—lived in multigenerational households in 2016, according to Pew Research.
And the economy isn’t the only reason. Another factor, Pew notes, is the nation’s increasing racial and ethnic diversity.
“The Asian and Hispanic populations overall are growing more rapidly than the white population, and those groups are more likely than whites to live in multigenerational family households,” Pew says.
Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, says he’s seen this pattern in the Latino culture.
“It’s a family culture, so it’s not unique to have mom and dad, grandma, grandpa, aunts, and uncles living in the same house, because they’re very committed to la familia,” Rodriguez told Facts & Trends.
He advises pastors to affirm diversity—and plan activities that appeal to multiple generations.
“Put out carne asada [grilled meat] and have some music and you can attract a community that really loves to celebrate life and family around food and music,” he said.
Decades ago, it was more common for multiple generations of Americans to share one home. In 1940, almost a quarter of the U.S. population lived in such households.
By 1980, though, the share had fallen to 12 percent. Then it started rising again, especially during the Great Recession of 2007-2009.
Since then, the economy has improved—but the numbers continue to climb.
In 2016, 20 percent of Americans were living in multigenerational households, Pew reports.
Most of these are households with two adult generations, such as parents with their grown children. Pew says 32.3 million Americans live this way.
Almost as many—28.3 million Americans—live with three generations, such as a grandparent, an adult child, and a grandchild.
And 3.2 million Americans live in households made up of grandparents and grandchildren, according to Pew.
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LISA CANNON GREEN (@lisacgreen) is senior editor of Facts & Trends.