Multigenerational Households: 2009-2011

October 2012
Report Number: ACSBR/11-03
Daphne A. Lofquist


A topic of growing interest is that of multigenerational families—defined here as family households consisting of three or more generations. In 2000, 3.7 percent of households in the United States were multigenerational. By 2010, multigenerational households increased to 4.0 percent.

Multigenerational households may be more likely to reside in areas where new immigrants live with their relatives, in areas where housing shortages or high costs force families to double up their living arrangements, or in areas that have relatively high percentages of children born to unmarried mothers who live with their children in their parents’ homes.3 This brief provides information by state on three types of multigenerational households and differences by race or Hispanic origin of the householder in multigenerational households. It also examines the geographic distribution of multigenerational households as a percentage of family households by county. We concentrate on family households in order to remove the differential proportion of nonfamily households across states. More than one-quarter of all American households are one person living alone, and this proportion varies by state.

This report is one of a series produced to highlight results from the 2009–2011 American Community Survey (ACS). The ACS provides detailed estimates of demographic, social, economic, and housing characteristics for congressional districts, counties, places, and other localities every year. A description of the ACS is provided in the text box “What Is the American Community Survey?”

September 2012
October 2012