A confluence of finance, care, and changing demographics is shaping the new American household. In a demographic evolution, the number of people living in multigenerational households – that is, three or more generations under one roof – quadrupled over the past 50 years in the United States, according to a Pew Research Center study.
The 2020 Census found that there were 6 million multigenerational households in the U.S., up from 5.1 million in 2010. While the nationwide average of multigenerational households stands at 7.2%, county-level percentages are wide-ranging depending on location, from 0.5% to 31.0% . Axios notes that Denver sits at just over 6%.
Financial dynamics play a pivotal role, with a majority of adults in multigenerational households citing economic reasons for their living arrangements. Caregiving also emerges as a major driver, encompassing support for aging parents or helping to look after a family member’s children. And, many young adults are postponing marriage or getting jobs later in life, making the multi-gen trend a necessity. Families occasionally seek our home features to accommodate the needs of a larger household (e.g., a secondary entry door, an additional kitchen or a separate laundry room).
But, despite the initial skepticism that might surround shared living, a substantial 57% of adults in multigenerational households report a positive experience, highlighting the resilience and adaptability of these modern family structures. Only 17% of those surveyed noted that it was a “very or somewhat negative” experience.
As Colorado Public Radio notes with an interview with state demographer Elizabeth Garner, Colorado’s population is expected to reach 7.5 million by 2050, from 5.8 million currently. This is caused by an influx of people ages 22-37 coming to Colorado for jobs while older adults remain in the homes where they raised their families, creating a “collision course with its housing shortage.”
Time will tell if this population increase – paired with changing family dynamics and financial needs – will contribute to the rise of multigenerational living in the metro area. As multigenerational living becomes a prominent feature of the American landscape, its growth stands as a pragmatic response to evolving family priorities.
View current multi-generational homes available for sale in the Denver metro area:
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