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Multigenerational Households Rise in Recession Years

AARP Public Policy Institute Report says More American Families are Sharing Homes


April 20, 2011


Media Relations


Multigenerational Households Rise in Recession Years

AARP Public Policy Institute Report says More American Families are Sharing Homes 

Washington – Multigenerational homes are on the rise in the United States, according to an AARP Public Policy Institute factsheet released today. There were approximately one-half million more households that were multigenerational in 2010 than in 2009.  In the last two years, the number of multigenerational households grew faster than any other 2-year period since 2000, coinciding largely with the recession of the past few years.   

“Over 7 million American households are home to more than one generation and AARP is working to equip parents and grandparents with the tools to take care of their changing households,” said Amy Goyer, AARP’s Family Expert.  “More grandparents, children and grandchildren are moving in together both to save money and to take care of each other. The past couple years have not been easy for families financially.” 

To investigate the growth in multigenerational households, the AARP factsheet uses Current Population Survey data to look at changes from year to year.  The report defines multigenerational households as any household where three generations are living in the same home and also those where the householder lives with their parents or with their grandchildren. 

Total U.S. Multigenerational Households: 

1.Householder, child, and grandchild (2.5 million in 2010)

2.Householder with parent (2.2 million in 2010)

3.Householder with parent and child (1.2 million in 2010)

4.Householder with grandchild (1.1 million in 2010)

5.Householder with parent, child and grandchild (68 thousand in 2010)

6.Householder with parent and grandchild (25 thousand in 2010)

AARP recommends preparing your home and family members for moving in together by having an open conversation with all family members about sharing resources, work, and space.  It is also important to have a realistic outlook about how long family members will stay in one home. “Even good will on all sides isn’t enough to guarantee that sharing a multigenerational home will go smoothly.  You need to talk about expectations and needs upfront and agree on a plan going into a new shared household,” said Goyer. 

For more information about the report “Multigenerational Households Are Increasing” please visit  For more information about the resources AARP provides for multigenerational families, please visit

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with nearly 35 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


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