USA, November 19, 2013 (Wall Street Journal): Since the mid-1990s, the share of people 65 years old and over living with their children or other relatives in the United States has risen from around 6.6% to 7.3% in 2013, according to an analysis of data from the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey by Jed Kolko, chief economist at Trulia, a real-estate listings site.
According to the American Community Survey -- a bigger Census study with a sample size large enough to analyze specific demographic groups -- 9% of seniors lived in a household headed by their children, children-in-law or other relatives besides their spouses in 2012. Another 2% lived with people they weren't related to, while 3% lived in places like nursing homes. The rest, about 85%, lived in their own homes.
The recession and weak recovery forced a growing number of young Americans to shack up with their parents, creating more "intergenerational" households. Seniors, meanwhile, are playing a critical role by offering financial lifelines and other types of support to adult children who are struggling to get by--or who are having difficulty achieving milestones like buying a house.
But what's driving the trend of more seniors living with their children isn't low income-growth or high joblessness -- it's mainly the fact that the share of seniors born in another country is rising -- indeed, it's already gone from 8% in 1994 to 13% in 2013.
That is important because foreign-born seniors are four times more likely to live with their children. Around 25% of foreign-born seniors in the U.S. live with relatives, compared with just 6% for U.S.-born seniors.
Whether or not Grandma and Grandpa are going to live with you varies hugely by which country they were born in.
Nearly half of all U.S. seniors born in India (47%) were living with relatives. Vietnam (44%), the Philippines (38%), Mexico (35%) and China (34%) also posted high shares. By contrast, only 5% of Canadian-born seniors live with their kids, below even the 6% share of U.S.-born seniors. German-born seniors in the U.S. were at 6%; England-born, at 7%.
It's not all about whether seniors are born in the West or not -- factors like age and race are important, too.
Seniors are more likely to live with relatives if they're older. The share of seniors who are 80 or older has grown from 22% in 1994 to 25% in 2013. Just 6% of the youngest seniors (65 to 69) live with relatives, versus 15% for those 85 and older. African-American, Asian-American and Hispanic seniors born in the U.S. are all twice as likely as whites to live with relatives. Other factors that make seniors more likely to live with children include not being married, being female (women live longer) and living in a metro area with fewer seniors.