Living together: Several generations under one roof


In the past, it was often common for several generations of a family to live together in one house.

For some it was a financial decision, while for others it was to enjoy the pleasure of having a large family together under one roof.

Today there are strong indications that multigenerational living is on the rise. According to a 2009 Pew Research Center study, 51.4 million Americans lived in a house with at least one other generation under the same roof.

A decline in employment and postponement in marriage has forced more adults to move back into their parent’s homes post-college. Known as “boomerangs,” 61 per cent of Americans aged 25 to 34 know of friends or family who have moved back with parents or relatives.

The increase of students and adults returning to their parent’s homes has highlighted the economic situation, indicating that is a good way to deal with the high cost of living.

Multigenerational households are defined as family households consisting of three or more generations. Several generations living together allows families to help care for the elderly, or raising  children and also tackle high housing costs.

Families have an opportunity to share in each other’s lives, grandparents can spend time with grandchildren, and the financial burden is reduced for individual family members.

While there are advantages to this type of living situation, some people believe it can be overwhelming and lack privacy.

Could you live with more than one generation under one roof? Do you think it’s a good way to share family memories or would you rather live separately from your parents, grandparents and adult children?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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  • Linda Aubrey

    October 28, 2013

    I already do live in a multi generational house hold. 3 generations right now. over 4 years ago we lived in a 4 generational house until my Mom died. I have lived with this set up for over 34 years. Works out for everyone. Kids lived in the same house and had the same friends and to do the grand kids. Cost is less and when one is sick there is someone to take care of you or the kids as needed. We all have our own space to that is a plus and a must. We have problems but we work them out.

  • Ellen Smale

    November 6, 2013

    My dad lived with me, on & off – when the kids got too noisy, he would move out for a break & then come back :). I nursed him in my home until he died. My mom-in-law & aunt-in-law also lived with me. I found living with extra females rather taxing, but for the most part, I enjoyed it. Now it’s just hubby & I – gets a bit lonely.