Rise Of The Multi-generational Household
Published: April 16, 2012
Rise Of The Multi-generational Household, It’s a home within a home â€” and it could be coming soon to a home near you.Builders across the country are revamping home designs to meet the needs of a growing number of Americans who are now living with extended family.
The number of so-called multi-generational households â€” where adults are living with their elderly parents or grown children â€” has jumped since the Great Recession forced Americans to rethink living on their own. Demographic experts say it’s poised to rise further as baby boomers age, so-called “boomerang kids” walloped by the weak job market stay home longer and ethnic groups such as Asians and Hispanics, who are more likely to live with extended family, continue to grow.
The housing industry is trying to keep up with the changes by adding self-contained suites to single-family homes from North Carolina to California to enable families to stay close while retaining a greater degree of independence.
“It’s not the nuclear family, the American dream family that we see all the time,” said Jerry Messman, a partner in national design firm BSB Design. “The builders are starting to respond to it.”
After World War II, Americans were encouraged to move out of their parents’ house when they reached adulthood and achieve independence at an earlier age. Over the next few decades, young families ventured out to live on their own, separately from their parents, in traditional single-family homes.
Since 1980, however, the number of families living in multi-generational households has steadily climbed, buoyed by a wave of immigration and delayed marriages. After the onset of the Great Recession, the number jumped even higher â€” rising 10.5 percent in a two-year period so that nearly 17 percent of Americans lived in multi-generational households by 2009, according to a report by the Pew Research Center.
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