Breaking News

Social distancing may be harder for families who live with elderly relatives. Here are the 15 states with the largest share of multigenerational households.

three generations multigenerational household

  • Social distancing is one of the main practices recommended to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus.
  • However, as the number of cases rises and more people are staying home, social distancing could be a problem for people living in multigenerational homes, especially those who live with grandparents in the most at-risk age group. 
  • Business Insider ranked the states with the largest share of multigenerational households using data from the US Census Bureau.
  • Hawaii was at the top of the list, where 7.72% of households are multigenerational.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The CDC recommends people social distance from one another to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. However, this may be more difficult for people living in homes with multiple family members, particularly elderly parents.

With more family members working from home, children taking online courses during this time, or grandparents taking care of children, it may be harder to social distance or self-isolate in multigenerational households.

"While grandparents are being advised to isolate themselves physically from grandchildren, it is nearly impossible for older caregivers to distance themselves from the children they are raising. You are on the front line for your family every day," Generations United, a nonprofit that supports improving the lives of all generations through public policy, intergenerational programs, and workshops on intergenerational issues, wrote in a coronavirus fact sheet.

Having larger families under one roof during the pandemic might put more members at risk if someone in the household has coronavirus. A recent Gothamist analysis found a positive relationship between the average number of people living in a home together and the number of coronavirus cases in ZIP codes around New York City. That is, the larger the typical household size in a neighborhood, the larger the number of confirmed coronavirus cases.

While COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel virus, can affect people of any age, it's especially dangerous for older adults. A recent Business Insider article looked at the large elderly population in Florida who could be infected by younger asymptomatic carriers of coronavirus.

That article looked at conclusions from a research paper from the University of Oxford that found one reason Italy was so vulnerable to the virus was because young people commute to work from multigenerational homes that could put the older population more at-risk.

Although not as common as other living situations, the number of multigenerational homes has been on the rise in the recent years in the United States.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis using individual-level data from the 2016 American Community Survey on Minnesota Population Center's Integrated Public Use Microdata Series program, 20% of Americans, or 64 million, lived in multigenerational households.

Pew defines multigenerational households as households that include "two or more adult generations, or including grandparents and grandchildren younger than 25." That is, these households could include people part of the most vulnerable age group to becoming severely ill from the coronavirus — adults over 65.

There's been a big rise in multigenerational households in the US over the last few decades. In 1990, 14% of Americans, or 34.4 million, lived in multigenerational households. The number of these kinds of households particularly rose during and after the Great Recession, according to Generations United, due to financial reasons like family members losing their jobs.

Pew notes that multigenerational housing is more common in some racial and ethnic groups, although it has been on the rise across all groups. The ethnic and racial groups with the largest share are Asians at 29% and Hispanics at 27%.

We took a look at Census data at the household, rather than population level, to get a sense of where in the US multigenerational households are more common. More than 4.6 million households were multigenerational in 2018. The Census Bureau defines multigenerational household as having three or more generations in a household.

Using 2018 data from US Census Bureau's 1-year American Community Survey estimates, we calculated the share of multigenerational households in each state. Hawaii had the largest share, where 7.72% of households were multigenerational. Florida has the 13th highest share at 4.02%.

Read on to find out the 14 states with the largest share of multigenerational households in the US:

SEE ALSO: The 27 states with the biggest populations at risk of developing a serious coronavirus illness

15. Virginia's share of households that are multigenerational is 3.84%.

Total number of multigenerational households: 121,822



14. South Carolina's share of households that are multigenerational is 3.90%.

Total number of multigenerational households: 75,165



13. Florida's share of households that are multigenerational is 4.02%.

Total number of multigenerational households: 313,700



12. Mississippi's share of households that are multigenerational is 4.04%.

Total number of multigenerational households: 44,831



11. Utah's share of households that are multigenerational is 4.07%.

Total number of multigenerational households: 40,644



10. Alaska's share of households that are multigenerational is 4.15%.

Total number of multigenerational households: 10,559



9. Nevada's share of households that are multigenerational is 4.25%.

Total number of multigenerational households: 47,968



8. New York's share of households that are multigenerational is 4.26%.

Total number of multigenerational households: 313,474



7. Arizona's share of households that are multigenerational is 4.28%.

Total number of multigenerational households: 111,856



6. Georgia's share of households that are multigenerational is 4.29%.

Total number of multigenerational households: 163,242



5. Maryland's share of households that are multigenerational is 4.38%.

Total number of multigenerational households: 97,138



4. New Jersey's share of households that are multigenerational is 4.42%.

Total number of multigenerational households: 143,578



3. Texas's share of households that are multigenerational is 4.90%.

Total number of multigenerational households: 478,900



2. California's share of households that are multigenerational is 5.77%.

Total number of multigenerational households: 754,667



1. Hawaii's share of households that are multigenerational is 7.72%.

Total number of multigenerational households: 35,143





* This article was originally published herePress Release Distribution

No comments