Multi-Generational Households on the Rise
The percentage of Americans living in multi-generational households
The trend began some 30 years ago, about the time middle class wages
stopped growing (immigration patterns also seem to be a factor), but it
has turned sharply upward during the Great Recession.
has some interesting implications for architects and builders, as it
will affect both the number and configuration of houses and apartments
we build. But there are broader societal consequences that I find
equally interesting to ponder. As a parent who does not look forward to
his children leaving home, and whose children would love nothing more
than having their grandparents move in with us, I find the following
tidbits especially compelling:
After rising steeply
for nearly a century, the share of adults ages 65
and older who live alone flattened out around 1990 and has since
declined a bit. It currently stands at 27% -- up from 6% in 1900.
adults who live alone are less healthy and they more often feel
sad or depressed than their counterparts who live with a spouse or with
others. These correlations stand up even after controlling for
demographic factors such as gender, race, age, income and education.
economic mess we're in is working all manner of changes in the way we
live. Among all of the negatives, there are bound to be some unexpected
positives. For some of us, at least, this may be one of them. --Bruce D.