3 Generations Under 1 Roof? Philly Beats National Average

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.

· The Evolving American Household: Growth in Multigenerational Living
· Young Adults Are Stacking Up, But Not Shacking Up
· Where Millennials Are Making Homeownership Happen

Real Estate Tools
Looking for a new home? Search Philadelphia real estate »
Browse Recent Home Sales »
Compare Philadelphia mortgage rates »
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines
Help us learn more about Philly.com commenters. Click here to take this quick survey.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Load comments
Continue Reading