Multiple Generation / Extended Family Households
 
Estimated Number of Printed Pages: 6
 
TOPICS COVERED: In this memo, we have current demographic information about extended family households and multiple generation family households. Technically, the difference is that an extended family includes any relatives other than the members of a nuclear family, while the multi-generational family refers to their generational relationship. Obviously, there's a considerable amount of overlap in those two categories, but we've split them up in that way to make the information a little more digestible. For more information about extended families, definitely look at our memos on Family Structures (particularly for a look at the historical prevalence of extended families in the U.S.)
 
MEMOS ON RELATED INFORMATION: Family Structures, Family and Household Demographics, Grandparents, Population (General Demographics), Is the Family in Decline? (Demographics) and Aging
 
Links to Sources for this material are available below. Please also see The Factbook Sources page for further information regarding Factbook sources and their availability.
 
 

PAGE INDEX:

 

EXTENDED FAMILY HOUSEHOLDS

MULTIGENERATIONAL HOUSEHOLDS

 
 
 

EXTENDED FAMILY HOUSEHOLDS

 
 
 
79 million
Number of U.S. “Family Groups,” in 2003, where one (or more subfamilies) live in a household. (e.g. A householder’s daughter has a child. The mother-child is a subfamily.) 1.
 
 
 
Four percent
of Australian families in 2003 – 213,800 – lived in multi-family households. 2.
 
 
 
One in five
Czech families live with a second family – either parents, relatives or non-relatives. For half of them, it isn't by choice. It's a severe housing shortage. 3.
 
 
 
1.8 percent
of Australian households contain more than one nuclear family. 4.
 
 
 
One percent
of households in the U.K. were multiple-family households in 2004. In 1961, it had been three percent. 5.
 
 
 
11.7 percent
of households in Argentina are extended family households. 6.
 
 
 
31.8 percent
of households in Venezuela are extended family households. 7.
 
 
 
13 percent
of households in South Africa were extended family households in 1998. 8.
 
 
 
Four percent
of Australian households are extended family households. 9.
 
 
 
On the increase –
extended families in Brazil and Colombia. In 1999, 16.8 percent of Brazilian households are extended families – up from 11.2 in 1986 – and Colombia's extended family households rose from 18.8 percent in 1986 to 1999's 25.2 percent. 10.
 
 
 
On the decline –
extended families in Paraguay, Chile, and Uruguay. 11.
 
 
 
With the exception of Bolivia, throughout South America, extended and composed forms of households are more prevalent among low-income households than those with higher-incomes. This may be due to poorer families' pooling their resources to meet their needs. 12.
 
 
 
31 percent
of families in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia are extended families, while 69 percent are nuclear families. 13.
 
 
 

EXTENDED FAMILY HOUSEHOLDS

 
 
 

MULTIGENERATIONAL HOUSEHOLDS

 
 
 
Hawaii –
The U.S. state with the highest percentage of multigenerational family households: 8.2 percent of all Hawaiian households. 5.6 percent of California's households are multigenerational, while 5.2 percent of Mississippi's are as well. 14.
 
 
 
North Dakota
The U.S. state with the lowest percentage of multigenerational family households: 1.1 percent of all households. 15.
 
 
 
7.4 percent
of Puerto Rico's households are multigenerational. 16.
 
 
 
About 9 out of 10
in a survey of South African three-generation households, the number of elders who live in a multigenerational setting. The proportion of older black South Africans living in two-, three-, and four-generation households has remained fairly stable for the past decade. The three-generation, extended family household, is traditionally made up of the elders, their sons with their wives, and their children. They usually remain in that household until the elders die, and the brothers set up their own households. 17.
 
 
 
1.3 million
Number of U.S. multigenerational families in 2000 made up of the householder, the householder's parent or in-law, and the householder's children. That's one-third of all multigenerational families. 18.
 
 
 
2.6 million
Number of U.S. multigenerational family households in 2000 with a householder, the householder’s children, and the householder's grandchildren. That's 65 percent of multigenerational family households in the U.S. So it's twice as common for a grandparent to be the householder, who brings younger generations in the home, than for adult children to bring parents into their home. 19.
 
 
 
5.6 million
U.S. children live with a grandparent; these children comprise 8 percent of all children in the United States. Of these children, almost twice as many (3.7 million) live in their grandparent’s home, than live in their parent’s home (1.8 million). 20.
 
 
 
78,000
Number of 2000 U.S. four-generation family households — consisting of the three generations noted above plus the householder’s grandchildren; that’s only 2 percent of the identified multigenerational family households. 21.
 
 
 
3.9 million
Number of U.S. family households in 2000 in the three types of commonly encountered multigenerational households. They made up 3.7 percent of all households. 22.
 
 
 
Just one percent
of U.K households contain three-generation households. As of 2001 – an estimated one percent of all households in spring 2001. 23.
 
 
 
Four to five percent
of Germans live in a three-generation household, if it is defined as a single dwelling. If, however, the definition is under the same roof, but not the same dwelling, but if we the number doubles to about 11–12 percent. 24.
 
 
 
At least 80 percent
of the elderly in urban Central America live in multigenerational households. In those, at least half of them contributed less than a quarter of the total household income. How much they contribute is an indication of their own poverty and that of their family. 25.
 
 
 
In North Africa, "The extended family, in the traditional sense of three or more generations living together under the same roof, rarely exists now in the North African region. Most studies point out that the large majority of families are nuclear in structure. This came about as a result of urbanization, industrialization, increased education, migration, and extension of government employment. However, it should be noted, that nuclear families continue to maintain intimate and close ties with other relatives. Though living under separate roofs, interdependence is fostered through intermarriage as well as collaboration in economic activities." 26.
 
 
 
In Greece, the proportion of the elderly population who live in their son’s or daughter’s home is still very high compared to the EU average or even to other European nations known to have strong family ties. Nevertheless, it's still on the decline. 27.
 
 
 
In South America, the three-generational household was a traditional expression of the society's patriarchal structure: it was the way to transmit power and wealth to the younger generations, while still providing for older widows and widowers. Now, however, older couples may live by themselves, or with other members of their generation (such as two elderly sisters). Widows may live alone (if they can afford it) or in non-nuclear households (elderly sisters living together, for instance). 28.
 
 
 
In the U.S.:
· 24 percent of Boomers anticipate that their parents or in-laws will move in with them.
· About one-half say they would be happy to have their parents or in-laws move in.
· 51 percent say they would feel obligated to help.
· 17 percent would be “eager” to find their parents or in-laws another living arrangement.
· 8 percent of Boomers would charge their parents rent. According to a 2004 survey. 29.

 
 
Multiple generation household structures also persist in a patriarchical societies, such as the Indo-Caribbean countries such as Trinidad and Tobago: the fathers and eldest sons wield a heavy hand in those families. 30.
 
 
 
On the other hand,
in many lower class Afro-Caribbean families, it is the elderly females who are the central figures in multi-generational households, whether or not male household heads are present. 31.
 
 
 
 
____________________________________________________
 
 
1. Jason Fields, America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2003, Current Population Reports, P20-553. U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC (2004), p. 6. Archived at: http://www.census.gov/prod/2004pubs/p20-553.pdf
2. ________, "4442.0 Family Characteristics, Australia," Australian Bureau of Statistics (updated March 15, 2005). Accessed at http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/5087e58f30c6bb25ca2568b60010b303/e6a9286119fa0a85ca25699000255c89!OpenDocument on August 28, 2005.
3. Ivo Mozny and Tomas Katrnak, "The Czech Family," Handbook of World Families, Bert N. Adams and Jan Trost (eds). Sage Publications, Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA, pp. 235-261 (2005), pp. 240. Available through: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0761927638/qid=1123855404/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/104-0887680-4192712?v=glance&s=books&n=507846
4. David De Vaus, "Australian Families," Handbook of World Families, Bert N. Adams and Jan Trost (eds). Sage Publications, Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA, pp. 67-98 (2005), p. 91. Available through: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0761927638/qid=1123855404/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/104-0887680-4192712?v=glance&s=books&n=507846
5. ________, "Focus on Families: Households & Families – Highlights," National Statistics Online, National Statistics, United Kingdom (March 22, 2005). Accessed at: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=1044 on January 2, 2006. Susan C. Ziehl, "Families in South Africa," Handbook of World Families, Bert N. Adams and Jan Trost (eds). Sage Publications, Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA, pp. 47-63 (2005), p. 53 (citation omitted). Available through: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0761927638/qid=1123855404/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/104-0887680-4192712?v=glance&s=books&n=507846
6. Elizabeth Jelin and Ana Rita Díaz-Muñoz, "Major Trends Affecting Families: South America in Perspective," Major Trends Affecting Families: A Background Document, Report for United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Social Policy and Development, Program on the Family (2003), p. 4. Archived at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/family/Publications/mtjelin.pdf
7. Elizabeth Jelin and Ana Rita Díaz-Muñoz, "Major Trends Affecting Families: South America in Perspective," Major Trends Affecting Families: A Background Document, Report for United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Social Policy and Development, Program on the Family (2003), p. 4. Archived at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/family/Publications/mtjelin.pdf
8. Susan C. Ziehl, "Families in South Africa," Handbook of World Families, Bert N. Adams and Jan Trost (eds). Sage Publications, Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA, pp. 47-63 (2005), p. 53 (citation omitted). Available through: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0761927638/qid=1123855404/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/104-0887680-4192712?v=glance&s=books&n=507846
9. David De Vaus, "Australian Families," Handbook of World Families, Bert N. Adams and Jan Trost (eds). Sage Publications, Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA, pp. 67-98 (2005), p. 91. Available through: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0761927638/qid=1123855404/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/104-0887680-4192712?v=glance&s=books&n=507846
10. Elizabeth Jelin and Ana Rita Díaz-Muñoz, "Major Trends Affecting Families: South America in Perspective," Major Trends Affecting Families: A Background Document, Report for United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Social Policy and Development, Program on the Family (2003), pp. 4-5. Archived at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/family/Publications/mtjelin.pdf
11. Elizabeth Jelin and Ana Rita Díaz-Muñoz, "Major Trends Affecting Families: South America in Perspective," Major Trends Affecting Families: A Background Document, Report for United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Social Policy and Development, Program on the Family (2003), pp. 4-5. Archived at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/family/Publications/mtjelin.pdf
12. Elizabeth Jelin and Ana Rita Díaz-Muñoz, "Major Trends Affecting Families: South America in Perspective," Major Trends Affecting Families: A Background Document, Report for United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Social Policy and Development, Program on the Family (2003), pp. 4-5. Archived at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/family/Publications/mtjelin.pdf
13. According to a study. Yahya El-Haddad, "Major Trends Affecting Families in the Gulf Countries," Major Trends Affecting Families: A Background Document, Report for United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Social Policy and Development, Program on the Family (200_), p. 3 (citation omitted). Archived at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/family/Publications/mtelhaddad.pdf
14. Tavia Simmons and Grace O'Neill, Households and Families: 2000, U.S. Census 2000 Brief, C2KBR/01-8. U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC (2001), p. 7. Archived at: http://www.census.gov/prod/2001pubs/c2kbr01-8.pdf
15. Tavia Simmons and Grace O'Neill, Households and Families: 2000, U.S. Census 2000 Brief, C2KBR/01-8. U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC (2001), p. 7. Archived at: http://www.census.gov/prod/2001pubs/c2kbr01-8.pdf
16. Tavia Simmons and Grace O'Neill, Households and Families: 2000, U.S. Census 2000 Brief, C2KBR/01-8. U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC (2001), p. 7. Archived at: http://www.census.gov/prod/2001pubs/c2kbr01-8.pdf
17. Betty Bigombe and Gilbert M. Khadiagala, "Major Trends Affecting Families in Sub-Saharan Africa," Major Trends Affecting Families: A Background Document, Report for United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Social Policy and Development, Program on the Family (2003), pp. 8-9 (citation omitted). Archived at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/family/Publications/mtbigombe.pdf and Susan C. Ziehl, "Families in South Africa," Handbook of World Families, Bert N. Adams and Jan Trost (eds). Sage Publications, Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA, pp. 47-63 (2005), p. 50. Available through: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0761927638/qid=1123855404/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/104-0887680-4192712?v=glance&s=books&n=507846
18. Tavia Simmons and Grace O'Neill, Households and Families: 2000, U.S. Census 2000 Brief, C2KBR/01-8. U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC (2001), pp. 7-8. Archived at: http://www.census.gov/prod/2001pubs/c2kbr01-8.pdf
19. Tavia Simmons and Grace O'Neill, Households and Families: 2000, U.S. Census 2000 Brief, C2KBR/01-8. U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC (2001), p. 7. Archived at: http://www.census.gov/prod/2001pubs/c2kbr01-8.pdf and ________, "Facts for Features: Grandparents Day 2004: Sept. 12," Press Release, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC (September 8, 2004). Archived at: http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/002319.html
20. ________, "Facts for Features: Grandparents Day 2004: Sept. 12," Press Release, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC (September 8, 2004). Archived at: http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/002319.html
21. Tavia Simmons and Grace O'Neill, Households and Families: 2000, U.S. Census 2000 Brief, C2KBR/01-8. U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC (2001), p. 8. Archived at: http://www.census.gov/prod/2001pubs/c2kbr01-8.pdf
22. ________, "Facts for Features: Grandparents Day 2004: Sept. 12," Press Release, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC (September 8, 2004). Archived at: http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/002319.html
23. Ceridwen Roberts, The Situation of Families in the UK, 1997-2002, European Observatory on Family Matters (2002), p. 3 (citation omitted). Archived at: http://europa.eu.int/comm/employment_social/eoss/downloads/gm_02_uk_roberts_en.pdf
24. Lynne Chisholm, Antonio de Lillo, Carmen Leccardi and Rudolf Richter (eds), Family Forms and the Young Generation in Europe, Report on the Annual Seminar 2001, Milan, Italy, 20–22 September 2001, Austrian Institute for Family Studies, European Observatory on the Social Situation, Demography and Family (2001), p. 50. Archived at: http://europa.eu.int/comm/employment_social/eoss/downloads/milan_report_2001_en.pdf
25. Godfrey St. Bernard, "Major Trends Affecting Families in Central America and the Caribbean," Major Trends Affecting Families: A Background Document, Report for United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Social Policy and Development, Program on the Family (May 23, 2003), p. 17. Report archived at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/family/Publications/mtstbernard.pdf and Tables archived at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/family/Publications/mtstbtables.pdf
26. Nazek Nosseir, "Family in the New Millennium: Major Trends Affecting Families in North Africa," Major Trends Affecting Families: A Background Document, Report for United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Social Policy and Development, Program on the Family (2003), p. 6. Archived at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/family/Publications/mtnosseir.pdf
27. Christos Bagavos, The Situation of Families in Greece, 2001, European Observatory on Family Matters (2001), p. 2 (citations omitted). Archived at: http://europa.eu.int/comm/employment_social/eoss/downloads/gm_01_greece_bagavos.pdf
28. Elizabeth Jelin and Ana Rita Díaz-Muñoz, "Major Trends Affecting Families: South America in Perspective," Major Trends Affecting Families: A Background Document, Report for United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Social Policy and Development, Program on the Family (2003), p. 10 (citation omitted). Archived at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/family/Publications/mtjelin.pdf
29. _______, Del Webb 2004 Baby Boomer Survey, "Empty Nester Syndrome: When the Kids Go Away Will Boomers Play?' (2004), accessed at http://www.pulte.com/pressroom/2004BabyBoomer/BabyBoomerDetailReport.pdf on August 15, 2005, _______, Del Webb 2004 Baby Boomer Survey, "Fast Facts: Baby Boomers Statistics on Empty Nesting and Retiring," Del Webb Website (2004). Accessed at http://www.pulte.com/pressroom/2004BabyBoomer/BabyBoomerFastFacts.pdf on August 15, 2005, and _______, Del Webb 2004 Baby Boomer Survey Press Release, "Baby Boomers Reclaim Independence in the Empty Nest But Del Webb Survey Shows ‘Boomerang’ Kids May Re-feather Their Future," Del Webb Website (June 29, 2004), accessed at http://www.pulte.com/pressroom/2004BabyBoomer/BabyBoomerNesters.pdf on August 15, 2005.
30. Godfrey St. Bernard, "Major Trends Affecting Families in Central America and the Caribbean," Major Trends Affecting Families: A Background Document, Report for United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Social Policy and Development, Program on the Family (May 23, 2003), p. 18. Report archived at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/family/Publications/mtstbernard.pdf and Tables archived at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/family/Publications/mtstbtables.pdf
31. Godfrey St. Bernard, "Major Trends Affecting Families in Central America and the Caribbean," Major Trends Affecting Families: A Background Document, Report for United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Social Policy and Development, Program on the Family (May 23, 2003), pp. 17-18 (citation omitted). Report archived at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/family/Publications/mtstbernard.pdf and Tables archived at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/family/Publications/mtstbtables.pdf