A recent Census report highlights a component of pent-up housing demand – the rise of multigenerational households.

The article below is from the National Association of Home Builders which I am a part of.  Their economist blogged on the rise in multicultural neighborhoods.

Data from the 2009 – 2011 American Community Survey (ACS) reported that 4.3 million households were multigenerational, or 5.6% of the total of 76.4 million family households with more than one person. This count represents a significant increase in the share of multigenerational households from 3.7% of total family households in 2000 and 4.0% of total family households in 2010.

The ACS defines multigenerational households as families with three or more generations. Some 64.6% of multigenerational households included a householder, a child of the householder and the grandchild of the householder. Households comprised of the householder with a parent (or parent-in-law) of the householder and child of the householder were a 33.7% share of total multigenerational households. Only 1.7% of multigenerational households were comprised of the householder plus a parent (or parent-in-law), child and grandchild of the householder.

The Census report indicates a higher share of such households in the American South and the West, with multigenerational household rates of 6.0% and 6.7% respectively. The shares are 4.2% in the Midwest and 5.5% in the Northeast . This is somewhat consistent with a previous look at households containing non-relatives.

The Census reported a higher share of multigenerational Hispanic, African American and Asian households, with multigenerational family household shares of 10.3%, 9.5% and 9.4% respectively. These shares compare to 3.7% for Non-Hispanic Whites. The Census data suggest expectations that in many areas of the country, the non-majority population will drive future household formations and home purchases, with a particular need to accommodate larger, multigenerational families.

An interesting long-term research question, and one that builders must address in terms of servicing housing demand, is the extent to which these trends represent temporary effects from the Great Recession or long-term changes associated with a changing national population.

Recently released government data on the share of U.S. households containing three or more generations of a single family have real significance to how homes are designed and marketed in this country. The data show that 5.6% of U.S. households — about 4.3 million residences — can currently be considered “multi-generational.” That’s up from 3.7% of households in that category as of the year 2000, and from the 4% of households designated as such at the beginning of 2010. The latest estimates cover a three-year period from 2009-2011 for areas with populations of at least 20,000 people. The state with the largest share of multigenerational households — 11% — is Hawaii, while the South and West lead the pack in terms of U.S. regions. In the South, states boasting larger percentages of multigenerational households than the national average include Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Texas and the District of Columbia, while in the West, states with greater-than-average shares of such households include Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and New Mexico. New Jersey and New York are the only above-average states in the Northeast, while the state with the smallest percentage of such living arrangements is North Dakota, at just 2%.