Salon has a good interview with the author of The Accordion Family - Boomerang Kids, Anxious Parents and the Private Toll of Global Competition. The book covers the trend towards young adults living with their parents.
This is not a new trend. The share of Americans living in multi-generational households has been trending up since 1980.
But due to the Great Recession there's been an acceleration in the numbers of young adults living with their parents. Key quote from the Salon article:
"According to the Census Bureau, the number of 25- to 34-year-old adults in the U.S. living at home rose from 14 percent in 2005 to 19 percent in 2011."
An interesting insight from the book is that more men are staying with their parents than women. The author explains:
"Women seem to be streaking ahead in educational attainment and occupational prestige. That may be one of the least recognized, but most important changes of our time. As they graduate high school and enroll in college at a higher frequency than men, women at the high end of the skill spectrum are starting to outstrip men in their earnings."
We call this trend The She-conomy, and we've written in the past about women passing men in most measures of educational achievement.
While I agree with the author that changes in the economy is the key driver of this trend, other factors also play a part in the increase in multi-generational housing. Increased immigration, for example,has resulted in more U.S. residents from cultures where multi-generational housing is a social norm.
The rise of two income families and longer life spans are also having an impact. These are leading to an increase in multi-generational households for child carer, elder care, or both.
We believe this trend will continue to grow and the next decade will see a steady increase in multi-generatonal housing.