Weak Economy Cited for Rise in Living with Kin; More Households Shared

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), June 21, 2012 | Go to article overview

Weak Economy Cited for Rise in Living with Kin; More Households Shared


Byline: Sarah Freishtat, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The Great Recession is bringing the generations together - not always willingly.

A new federal report Wednesday found that the number of adults who moved in with family members in shared households to save money spiked between 2007 and 2010.

The number of multigenerational households rose 11.4 percent, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released Wednesday.

In 2007, adults living with relatives accounted for 17 percent of American households, according to the report, Sharing a Household: Household Composition and Economic Well-Being: 2007-2010. Three years later, when the recession had ended, 18.7 percent of households were shared.

While the study found that a lower percentage of shared households were in poverty than single-generation homes, there was a higher poverty rate among individuals living in multigenerational households than others.

When resources in a household are combined, that seems to alleviate some of the strain, said Laryssa Mykyta, one of the authors of the report. Although not necessarily all shared households share resources.

Rakesh Kochhar, senior researcher at the Pew Center, said that although the recession caused a sharp spike in the number of multigenerational households, that number has been rising since the 1980s because economic factors such as job availability and housing affordability are only some of the reasons.

That slow pickup [from 1982 to 2007] is due mostly to late marriage and the rising share of the population that is Asian, that is Hispanic, that is culturally different on living customs, he said. …

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