Families Living Doubled-Up Triple

Adult Children Add to
Already Crowded Households

Families Living Doubled-Up TripleA new report released by HUD found that the number of households composed of multiple subfamilies tripled between 2003 and 2009, from 199,000 to 622,000.

Additionally, the study – Analysis of Trends in Household Composition Using American Housing Survey Data – documented the number of households containing a relative other than a spouse or a child under 18 rose by 1.6 million during the same time period.

The report analyzes data from the American Housing Survey (AHS) and examines trends in household composition. Using American Housing Survey Data, the report was prepared for HUD by Frederick J. Eggers and Fouad Moumen of Econometrica, Inc.

The report used data collected between 2003 and 2009.

The study defined doubled-up households as households containing a member other than a spouse, or containing an adult child over age 18 or 21.

  • Overall, adult children over the age of 21 were the most common contributors to doubled-up households.
  • Between 2003 and 2009, the percentage of doubled-up households with a child over 21 increased from 47.4% in 2003 to 50.5% in 2009.
  • Doubled-up households containing a grandchild also increased between 2003 and 2009, from 12.7% to 14.1%.

According to study findings, economic conditions have contributed to the rise of adult children living at home. Between 2003 and 2009,

  1. The percentage of adult children with jobs in doubled-up households fell from 60% to 57%; and
  2. The percentage of adult children reporting salaries, wages or self-employment income also declined.

The authors conclude that economic hardship is driving household composition patterns, and further research is needed to determine the causes behind the rise of doubled-up households.

Click here to view Analysis of Trends in Household Composition Using American Housing Survey Data.