• History of the United States
  • The Great Depression

Why did families double up during the depression?

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Answered 2010-09-22 17:27:59

I perceive that "double up" means grouping immediate and less immediate families into one household. In other words, in American society a family may consist of a husband/wife and children. when the children reach a certain age, IE after completion of higher education or 18 the children will establish their own home leaving the mother/father(partner/companion) and that household.

During the depression, lack of employment led to significant loss of income for many individuals and family members returned to the "original" home to save on mortgage/rent costs. Much like a renter/homeowner looking for a roommate or people who could not afford their own place.

This practice is still in existence to a degree in certain areas of the US where real estate costs are high. Growing up in Hawai'i, I know of several families who have more than one generation of family living in the same home due to housing costs. This was especially evident for non-caucasian citizens of Hawai'i who have strong family bonds.

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