"Tripling up": The Composition and Dynamic Structure of Multigenerational Households

Robin L. Pleau, University of California, Davis

Despite the rise in prevalence of multigenerational coresidence in recent years, little is known about the composition and processes of multigenerational households. Multigenerational households are defined as the coresidence of three or more generations or at minimum a grandparent and grandchild. Twelve percent of children 5 and younger live in multigenerational households today, up from 8% in 1989. In this paper, I examine transitions into U.S. multigenerational households using a pooled sample of 4 two-year matched-data panels from the 2006-2010 March Current Population Survey. The paper presents 1) the composition of multigenerational households; 2) the likelihood of an adult transitioning into a multigenerational household as a function of employment status, marital status, health status, and parental status, as well as other important demographic characteristics; and 3) an analysis of differences between those who transition into multigenerational households and those who remain in these households from one year to the next.

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Presented in Session 184: Family Structure and Child Well-Being