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MULTGEN
Multigenerational household

Description

MULTGEN identifies the number of distinct generations contained in each household. While the Census Bureau defines multigenerational households as those containing three or more generations, the detail provided in MULTGEN allows researchers more flexibility.

Both general and detailed versions of MULTGEN are available. The general version indicates how many generations are present in the house; the detailed version provides more nuance within each general category.

The number of generations was identified in two ways. First, relationships to the householder (RELATE) were divided into the following generational categories (general codes only):

(1) Parent, Parent-in-law
(2) Householder, Spouse, Sibling, Sibling-in-law
(3) Child, Child-in-law
(4) Grandchild

The number of generations is simply the number of these categories represented in the household.

Second, the family inter-relationship pointer variables were examined to provide additional information on "other relatives" and nonrelatives of the householder. For example, two generations exist when someone is linked to a parent as identified by POPLOC and MOMLOC; three generations exist when that parent also has a parent in the household. Family interrelationship pointer variables were not able to be created in the 2010 Decennial Census. As a result, multigenerational households can only be identified through the Census Bureau's definitions.

The following table provides more detail on the categories of MULTGEN:

multgen_table

General Code

Detailed Code

 

0

00

N/A

1

10

1 generation

2

20

1-2 generations (Census Bureau definition)

21

2 adjacent generations; all members of the younger generation are never married and aged 17 or younger

22

2 adjacent generations, some members of younger generation married or older than 17

23

2 nonadjacent generations (e.g., householder and grandchild, householder's own child not present)

3

31

3+ generations (Census Bureau definition)

32

3+ generations (Additional households identified by IPUMS)

Additional note on the Census Bureau's definition of multigenerational households:
Information on multigenerational households has been available in the original Census Bureau data only since the 2008 ACS/PRCS. The Census Bureau identifies multigenerational households only through respondents' relationships to the householder. The presence of one of the following relationship combinations caused the household to be coded as multigenerational:

(1) householder, householder's child, and householder's grandchild
(2) householder's parent, householder, and householder's child
(3) householder's parent-in-law, householder, and householder's child

Thus subfamilies do not need to be present for a household to be classified as multigenerational by the Census Bureau's definition. In example (1) above, the grandchild need not be the child of the householder's child. And a household containing only the three people in example (3) would contain no subfamilies. In fact, the householder's child in example (3) could be the result of a previous marriage, such that the householder's parent-in-law is not actually the grandchild of the parent-in-law.

As outlined above, this definition does not exhaust three-generation households. While it is sufficient to capture most three-generation households, expanding the range of allowable relationship combinations and examining probable family interrelationships identifies more three-generation households. These receive the code of 32.

Codes and Frequencies




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Comparability

This variable is available for all samples 1880 and onward; it is comparable across time.

Universe

  • All households.

Availability

United States
  • 2017: All samples
  • 2016: All samples
  • 2015: All samples
  • 2014: All samples
  • 2013: All samples
  • 2012: All samples
  • 2011: All samples
  • 2010: All samples
  • 2009: All samples
  • 2008: All samples
  • 2007: All samples
  • 2006: All samples
  • 2005: All samples
  • 2004: All samples
  • 2003: All samples
  • 2002: All samples
  • 2001: All samples
  • 2000: All samples
  • 1990: All samples
  • 1980: All samples
  • 1970: All samples
  • 1960: All samples
  • 1950: All samples
  • 1940: All samples
  • 1930: All samples
  • 1920: All samples
  • 1910: All samples
  • 1900: All samples
  • 1880: 1%; 10%
  • 1870: --
  • 1860: --
  • 1850: --
Puerto Rico
  • 2017: All samples
  • 2016: All samples
  • 2015: All samples
  • 2014: All samples
  • 2013: All samples
  • 2012: All samples
  • 2011: All samples
  • 2010: All samples
  • 2009: All samples
  • 2008: All samples
  • 2007: All samples
  • 2006: All samples
  • 2005: All samples
  • 2000: All samples
  • 1990: All samples
  • 1980: All samples
  • 1970: All samples
  • 1930: All samples
  • 1920: All samples
  • 1910: All samples

Flags

This variable has no flags.

Editing Procedure

There is no editing procedure available for this variable.