Social distancing may be harder for families who live with elderly relatives. Here are the 15 states with the largest share of multigenerational households.
From Business Insider, April 25, 2020
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.
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#1 State for Multi-Generational Households HAWAII.
Hawaii's share of households that are multigenerational is 7.72%.
Total number of multigenerational households: 35,143