3G families on the rise

Research from Economic Lifestyle reveals that more than 858,000 adults aged between 35 and 64 now have one or both of their parents living in their home.

The phenomenon of 3G families (those with three generations living under the same roof) has been attributed to the financial squeeze faced by the over-65s struggling to maintain a home on low incomes.

Rising council tax and heating bills on top of home maintenance costs plus the possibility that over-65s are suffering from failing health makes it more convenient for them to live with their families.

Currently 4% of households with adults aged between 35 and 64 have their parents living with them. Households in the north of England and London are most likely to have parents living with them some 8% and 7% respectively.

Families in the West Midlands and the south-west of England are least likely to have elderly parents living with them just 2% and 3% respectively, the research shows.

Mark Neal, managing director of Economic Lifestyle, says: “Retired people struggle by on average incomes of around 11,000 and many are even still paying off mortgages. Around one in five pensioners live below the poverty line.

“Financially it makes sense for them to go back to live with their adult children who may be reasonably well-off and able to help them just as they were supported by their parents while they were growing up.

“However it is the case that three generations of a family living under the same roof can lead to tensions. Many families will be happy to have their parents come to live with them but for others it is an arrangement forced on them by financial necessity.”

Those aged 35-44 are most likely to have their parents living with them in fact, there are more 3G families in this category than all the others combined.

As the age of the home owner rises the proportion of those living with their parents fall. However the research shows 148,000 adults aged between 55 and 64 have one or both their parents living with them.