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1 in 4 young adults live with a parent, grandparent or older sibling, research shows

In this Friday, April 13, 2012 photo, Kelly, left, and Bill Noorish walk around a model a Lennar Next-Gen multigenerational home, in Las Vegas.
Julie Jacobson
In this Friday, April 13, 2012 photo, Kelly, left, and Bill Noorish walk around a model a Lennar Next-Gen multigenerational home, in Las Vegas.

The percentage of young adults living with parents, grandparents, or older siblings or roommates has nearly tripled since 1971, new data from the Pew Research Center shows.

In a 2021 survey of nearly 10,000 Americans, one in four adults from ages 25 to 34 lived in a "multigenerational family household" — defined as a household of adults 25 and older that includes two or more generations. About 9% of adults had these living circumstances in 1971, the report said.

While most young adults in multigenerational households lived in households led by one (39%) or two parents (47%) — the most common arrangements — about 14% lived in a household headed by someone other than a parent, such as a grandparent, sibling, roommate or an unmarried partner.

In contrast, 15% of young adults had at least one parent who had moved in with them, according to Pew.

Finances and caregiving are the driving factors behind multigenerational households, the survey found, and there is also a correlation between education level and those who live in multigenerational households.

From 1971 to 2021, multigenerational living doubled to 16% among young adults with at least a bachelor's degree, while it tripled to 31% among young adults who only finished high school.

In 1971, the rates of multigenerational living were similar among all young adults regardless of education level.

A separate Pew study found that 37% of men from ages 25 to 29 lived in a multigenerational household in 2021, compared to 26% of women in that age range.

Multigenerational living is also more common among immigrants and racial minorities. Rates were comparable among Black Americans (26%), Hispanic Americans (26%) and Asian Americans (24%), compared to 13% of White Americans. About a quarter of Americans who were born in another country live in a multigenerational household, compared to 17% of American natives.

Young adults' incomes typically made up 22% of the earnings in a multigenerational household in 2021, the data showed.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ayana Archie
[Copyright 2024 NPR]
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