Though multi- generational homes or homes with extended families were much more common before the 1960s and 70s, they had experienced a steep decline in the decades since. However, multi-generational households have been on the increase for at least the last 10 years, and the trend does not appear to be decreasing.
According to figures from the census, about 4.2 million American households in 2000 were multi-generational. In 2010, that figure had grown to more than 5.1 million, an increase of 21% in 10 years. Researchers cite a range of factors that contributed to the growth of extended family living situations, but the recession, extended lifespans, and delay in younger people getting married and starting families all contributed to the growth.
There are several benefits to living with other family members. Elderly family members especially can receive great benefit from either caring for younger children or being able to rely upon family members in case an emergency arises or if they need medical attention. Extended living also conveys significant economical benefits, especially when an elderly person does not have to pay for assisted living facilities or in-home caregivers. Even if professional attention is required, extended family situations often allow the elderly person to take advantage of part-time assistance instead of relying upon a full-time caregiver.
Even if a multi- generational household is not right for everyone, some families are choosing to live in the same town or even the same neighborhood or street. Being close to family members can convey many of the same benefits as living in a multi-generational household.