Sharing a Household: Household Composition and Economic Well-Being: 2007–2010

June 2012
Report Number: P60-242
Laryssa Mykyta and Suzanne Macartney


This report analyzes and describes “household sharing,” a process by which people join or combine households. Data from the Annual Social and Economic Supplement of the Current Population Survey (CPS ASEC) were used to compare living arrangements, both prior to and following the most recent recession. Although reasons for household sharing were not discernible from the CPS ASEC data, results from the current analysis suggest that adults and families coped with challenging economic circumstances over the course of the recession by joining households or combining households with other individuals or families. This analysis shows that adults shared households in greater numbers and in higher proportions in early 2010 than in early 2007. Poverty rates in 2007 and 2010 for adults in shared households were also examined. Estimates based on individual income suggest personal poverty rates are higher among adults residing in shared households.