The old America we knew, where living standards more than doubled each generation, has ceased to exist as new evidence suggests the percentage of Americans living in multigenerational households is at its highest since the post–World War II economic expansion.
Heavily indebted Americans are readjusting to a deterioration in living standards. Many of society’s lower-income consumers have already reshaped their lifestyles — towards living in a home with at least two adult generations. In other words, more Americans than ever in the last half-century are returning to their parents’ basement.
According to a new Pew Research Center report of census data, a record 64 million Americans, accounting for some 20 percent of the total U.S. population, lived in multigenerational family households in 2016, representing a three-decade continuous progression in this type of household formation — despite government propaganda that indicates economic improvements since the Great Recession.
After the early 1950s, living in a household with multiple generations experienced three decades of declines from 21 percent to a low of 12 percent in 1980. A noticeable bounce was seen in the early 80s, representing an unfair low, and since, the percent of Americans in multigenerational households has increased steadily.
During the financial crisis of 2007–2008, a noticeable surge in Americans migrated to multigenerational households. Pew explains below:
“In 2009, 51.5 million Americans (17% of the population) lived in multigenerational households, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. In 2014, 60.6 million Americans – 19% of the U.S. population – were part of multigenerational homes, according to the last major Pew Research Center analysis of this data.”
The study found that young adults [millennials] are the age demographic that is most commonly transitioning into multigenerational homes.
“In recent years, young adults have been the age group most likely to live in multigenerational households (previously, it had been adults ages 85 and older). Among 25- to 29-year-olds in 2016, 33% were residents of such households.
Among a broader group of young adults, those ages 18 to 34, living with parents surpassed other living arrangements in 2014 for the first time in more than 130 years.
Education levels make a difference, though: Young adults without a college degree now are more likely to live with parents than to be married or cohabiting in their own homes, but those with a college degree are more likely to be living with a spouse or partner in their own homes.”
Asians and Hispanics have a higher probability than whites to live in multigenerational households. Across all U.S. racial groups, multigenerational household formations surged after the great recession. Pew attributed some of the multigenerational households increases on broadening ethnic diversity in U.S. population.
“Growing racial and ethnic diversity in the U.S. population helps explain some of the rise in multigenerational living. The Asian and Hispanic populations overall are growing more rapidly than the white population, and those groups are more likely than whites to live in multigenerational family households. Another growth factor is that foreign-born Americans are more likely than those born in the U.S. to live with multiple generations of family; Asians and Hispanics are more likely than whites to be immigrants.
Among Asians living in the U.S., 29% lived in multigenerational family households in 2016, according to census data. Among Hispanics and blacks, the shares in 2016 were 27% and 26%, respectively. Among whites, 16% lived with multiple generations of family members.”
And finally, Tom Chtaham via Project Chesapeake, who specifies in the “next great financial crisis” many Americans will see their living standards ratcheted down once more. What does this imply for the trend in multigenerational households? Well, you guessed it, the next boom is coming…
“Very few Americans have any significant savings today. Most live on credit and those with savings have it stored in financial instruments that will be wiped out as the bankers collapse the system to hide the theft they have been involved in for decades. Those who think they will retire with their IRA, pensions or social security will suddenly find them all gone never to return leaving them with no means to care for themselves.
The west line has moved to Asia. This means that North America is no longer the shipping center of the world. The consequences of this for Americans will be disastrous. This means our economy in the future will be smaller and slower and will result in a standard of living far below what it currently is.
Those that own very few assets free and clear will become the new homeless as they become jobless and default on all of their credit obligations.”