At different times over the past century, Americans have found themselves living under the same roofs with family members of multiple generations. In the 20s and 30s, it was pretty common, particularly during the 30s Depression.

Right after World War II there was a huge housing shortage, which led to more multi-generational housing, otherwise known as MG. MG is defined as 2 generations over 25 living under one roof.

A Harris poll for Bloomberg say that roughly 45% of those aged 18 to 29 are living in their parents’ homes. That is higher than it has been since the 40s. In the 50s 21% of people lived in MG households. In the 70s, less than 5%. Now, we have 17% of people living in MG households.

The cause is almost always money. It’s expensive to buy, older parents need some care, and they can help with raising the children in a two income household, so in many ways it makes sense. It creates a stability for children, parents, and grand parents that is all too comforting. But it has its downside: while 58% say it’s convenient, 54% say its rewarding, but 23% say it is constantly stressful.

The south, southwest, and California lead the way in MG homes.

Even though multigenerational family living is a norm and standard practice in most of the global south countries, it has also become increasingly relevant in Europe and North America. This is associated with the economic factor, but also with the cultural shifts brought on by immigrant communities.

Look for more builders answering the call. And frankly, I’ve done very well with two-family homes I’ve purchased – they are a sweet spot with MG housing, or two completely separate families, each paying rent.

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