Under one roof: The rise in multigenerational living

A family of 4 eats a spaghetti dinner at a table.
From left, 9-year-old Jamichael Cline, step-grandfather Scott Anderson, grandmother Shelley Anderson and 13-year-old Jachai Cline eat a spaghetti dinner at their dining room table in Duluth, Minn., on Jan. 7, 2020.
Evan Frost | MPR News 2020

The number of multigenerational households in the United States recently jumped from one in five to one in four. That’s more than 66 million American adults living in multigenerational homes. So why are families choosing to make the move? 

Guest host Chris Farrell, senior economics contributor at Marketplace and MPR News, looked at the biggest factors pushing families to cohabit, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

He was joined by three guests who helped examine the longevity of this rising trend and how it could affect society as a whole. 

Guests:

  • Marc Freedman is the author of “How to Live Forever: The Enduring Power of Connecting the Generations” and the CEO of Encore.org, which is bringing older and younger people together to solve problems, forge bonds and bridge divides.

  • Amy Goyer is the author of “Juggling Life, Work and Caregiving,” as well as a speaker and consultant who focuses on caregiving. She co-wrote the study “Family Matters: Multigenerational Living is on the Rise and Here to Stay.”

  • Donna Butts is the executive director of Generations United, a national nonprofit organization that promotes intergenerational strategies in public policy.

Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.

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