The number of Americans living with more than one generation in a single household has hit a new record of 60.6 million people, a figure that has continued to rise despite pressures from the Great Recession receding.
In historic terms, the share of Americans in this type of residence declined from 21% in 1950 to just 7% by 1980. Since then, the number rebounded to reach 19% of the American population in 2014. Much of the increase was caused by economic constraints the recent recession put on households to combine financial resources, but even with some of those pressures now relieved, the share of Americans living with multiple generations has still risen.
The most common type of multigenerational household – home to 29.7 million Americans in 2014 – consists of two adult generations, such as parents and their adult children. We define adult children as being ages 25 or older, so our multigenerational households do not include most college students who live at home. Three-generation households – for example, grandparents, parents and grandchildren – housed 26.9 million people in 2014. Fewer than a million people lived in households with more than three generations in 2014. Another 3.2 million Americans lived in households consisting of grandparents and grandchildren.