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Households Doubling-up to Save Costs

There’s two ways of countering the increasing cost of rent especially in big metroplexes. Relocate or find someone to share the increasing rent that consumes a growing share of household incomes in many big cities. According to a report by Zillow, most adults in the working age population seem to prefer the second option with 30 percent of adults in aged 23 to 65 living in doubled-up households, up from a low of 21 percent in 2005 and 23 percent in 1990.

The report defines doubled-up households as ones in which at least two working-age, unmarried, or unpartnered adults live together and includes adults living with their parents or with a roommate.

The Zillow report suggests that while some people might choose to live with others for companionship or convenience, the trend towards doubling-up is often driven by financial concerns, especially in metro areas where rent drains a larger share of household income. Some of the most extreme examples of adults choosing to live with family members or roommates were found in Los Angeles where 46 percent working age adults doubled up, followed by Miami at 41 percent, and San Francisco with 38 percent adults living with family or roommates.

According to the report, the median individual income of an employed adult in a doubled-up household is $30,000 compared to $45,000 earned by a non-doubled-up adult, suggesting that in many places, employed people who currently live in doubled-up households would not be able to afford rent if they lived by themselves.

The report says that one of the age-groups that has seen the highest rise of doubled-up households is adults between 23-29 years of age, where living in doubled-up households as increased from 39 percent to 54 percent in 11 years indicating that despite high education levels, many twenty-somethings work in relatively low-wage jobs, where they might be unable to afford escalating rents on their own.


About Author: Radhika Ojha

Radhika Ojha, Online Editor at the Five Star Institute, is a graduate of the University of Pune, India, where she received her B.A. in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting and Marketing and an M.A. in Mass Communication. Upon completion of her master’s degree, Ojha worked at a national English daily publication in India (The Indian Express) where she was a staff writer in the cultural and arts features section. Ojha also worked as Principal Correspondent at HT Media Ltd and at Honeywell as an executive in corporate communications. She and her husband currently reside in Dallas, Texas. You can contact her at Radhika.Ojha@theMReport.com.

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