Nov 16, 2011

Multi-Generational Households Increasing

According to the Census Bureau, the number of Americans living in multi-generational households has shot up, increasing by 4.9 million, or 10.5%, from 2007 to 2009.

Multi-generational households include households with:
  • Two generations: parents (or in-laws) and adult children ages 25 and older (or children-in-law).
  • Three generations: parents (or in-laws), adult children (or children-in-law), grandchildren.
  • “Skipped” generations: grandparents and grandchildren, without parents.

The increase is primarily due to the economic downturn.  The unemployed, whose numbers are growing, are much more likely to live in multi-generational households—25.4% did in 2009, compared with 15.7% of those with jobs.  Under these circumstances, it is perhaps natural that more people would reach out to family for financial support.

What does this mean for our ministries?

How can we effectively minister to multi-generational households?

What are the positives for kids who are living in multi-generational households?

What are the negatives for kids who are living in multi-generational households?

How does this affect family ministry?

What do we need to change or adjust to meet the needs of multi-generational households?

Would enjoy hearing your thoughts in the comment section below.

Posted by Dale Hudson


I see this a lot in the area I work in (, the most impoverished area in our state.

The positives is more family support. The negatives is the model it sets of NEEDING that support through life. People in poverty who want / need to break free often have to sacrifice family relationships, even for a short period of time.

I love thinking about multi-generational households. I think that there are a lot of positives that can potentially come from having multiple generations under the same roof. Our parents and grandparents have so much wisdom for us and our children. They are able to leave a strong imprint of Christ on our kids.
I think it can become a challenge to have events or activities that include all generations at once. It's possible - we just need to be more creative and intentional of how we do things.
I see a negative as well from multiple generations living together - it makes breaking generational sin a lot harder. We are often so impacted by our families that if our family is passing on sin, it's much harder to break when 3 or 4 generations are living together. It can become a place of enabling sin.
But if we can harness the right equipping and empowering to families I think even this 'negative' can be turned into a positive!
I think we as the church need to be discussing the impact of generational sin more and realizing that it can be broken.

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