Native American Counties Have the Highest Proportion of 3-Generation Households

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Kevin A. Thompson
November 30, 2023

Photo: "My Cousin Zonnie and her family. Her daughter, on the right, served in Iraq" courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Counties with high Indigenous populations lead the US in the number of households with three or more generations living together.

McKinley County, New Mexico had 18.9% multigenerational households, and overall has a 75% Native American population. In second place is Apache County, Arizona, with 16.9% of its households being multigenerational and 76.9% of its population being Native American. 

Those same two counties, McKinley AZ and Apache NM, also led the US in the percentage of children living in the same house as their grandparents. In Apache County, the portion was 27.4%, and in McKinley it was 27.1%. In third place at 27.5% is Navajo County, Arizona, which is 47.7% Native American overall.

These figures are well above the US national average, where only 7.2% of households with children also include grandparents. The Southern and Western regions had the highest number of these family arrangements.

From 2010 to 2020, multigenerational households increased from 5.1 million to 6.0 million, an increase of almost one million in ten years.

Three Latino majority counties, Imperial County, California; Starr and Webb counties in Texas ranked next highest in multigeneration households (16.6%, 15.6% and 14.0% respectively).

Kauai County, Hawaii, ranked high with having 18.5% of its children living with grandparents, and Starr County TX had 17.9% of its children in that same arrangement.

As a state, Alaska also contained many multigenerational households.

Source: “Several Generations Under One Roof,” by Channell Washington, Thomas Gryn, Lydia Anderson and Rose M. Kreider,