In San Francisco “Unrelated Households” Have become 31% More Common

Did you know that fifty years ago, 76% of twenty-six year olds in America lived with their spouse? Today, that share has plummeted to 24%. In fact, twenty-six year olds are now more likely to live with a parent than with a spouse.

A new study from Apartment List (because we’re suckers for interesting data) finds that during the last 50 years we’ve seen significant change in household composition across the country. San Francisco is no different…as we all know The rising cost of housing and shifting family dynamics have reconfigured the American household, and trends in who lives together are determining what types of housing will ultimately be available and affordable.

Specifically, the study finds:

Nationally, young adults today are 46% more likely to live with a parent than in 2007, 32% more likely to move in with a partner before getting married, and 19% more likely to have a non-family roommate. Millennial housing decisions are a key force driving changes in the American household.

In San Francisco metro, “unrelated households” have become 31% more common. These are multiple family units or roommates living under one roof. Social and economic forces are encouraging Americans in many markets – particularly at the lower end of the income distribution – to band together and form larger households in order to afford their preferred housing. (I witnessed this first-hand in the house next door to me…a four bedroom that was rented to four young couples.)

San Francisco’s nuclear family households are in decline. Since 2007, the share of San Francisco households housing nuclear families has fallen from 26.2% to 25.9%. Nuclear families are becoming more expensive to maintain, and we see them declining in 20 of the nation’s 25 largest metropolitan areas. Definitely a nominal change for SF, especially compared to other metros, but something to keep eyes on for sure.
[A nuclear family is the immediate family, meaning it includes only the children and the parents. A nuclear family does not include grandparents, extended family, or other non-family relations living with a person.]

That’s just a snippet of some of the data our friends at Apartment List have pulled for their great report.

Check it out, and come back here when you’re ready to sell your home in San Francisco for a massive amount of cash and move (your entire family) to your greener pasture, wherever it may be, somewhere more affordable, with parking, open space, clean streets, and one restaurant within 50 miles. :-)

Reconfiguring the American Household [Apartment List, Rentonomics]

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