By Sally Deneen
A growing proportion of American households have three generations or more living under the same roof, and Philadelphia beats the national average in the trend.
In 1 out of 24 homes in the Philadelphia area, grandma may live with her daughter and grandchildren — or some other variation on the theme.
“Extended families are increasingly driven to live together in part as a way of easing housing affordability, “ Zillow senior economist Aaron Terrazas wrote in the report, which says 4.2 percent of Philly metro area households are multigenerational, making them about twice as prevalent here as in Johnstown, Minneapolis or Albany, N.Y.
Three generations are likelier to share a home in the Philly metro area than in Lancaster (3.7 percent), Reading (3.5 percent), Scranton (3.1 percent), Harrisburg (2.8 percent) or Pittsburgh (2.6 percent), according to the Zillow report.
Common in the early 20th century, multigenerational living fell off after World War II, as more nuclear families formed their own households during the postwar baby boom, the Zillow report says. Just 2.6 percent of American households were multigenerational in 2006 — then the Great Recession hit, returning more young adults to the family home.
In 2015, 3.2 percent of American addresses were home to at least three generations. The Zillow report ascribes the trend to “a combination of economic, cultural and social forces [that] is helping spur a new rise in multigenerational households.”
Despite an improved job market, more young adults are living with their family nowadays than during the depths of the Great Recession, according to a Pew Research Center report, “More Millennials Living with Family despite Improved Job Market.”
“Young adults are marrying at later ages and staying in school longer,” which “may be contributing to the rising share of young adults living with their parents or other family members,” states a separate Pew report. “In Post-Recession Era, Young Adults Drive Continuing Rise in Multi-Generational Living” says a record 57 million Americans live in multigenerational households.
Young adults without college degrees are much likelier to live in multigenerational households, according to Pew.