Married ... With Roommates

February 11, 2019
In expensive markets, married couples are living with roommates to share the financial burden of high housing costs, according to a new study.
Photo: Unsplash/Clem Onojeghuo

In expensive markets, married couples are living with roommates to share the financial burden of high housing costs, according to a new study.

In 2018, nearly 4.2 million households, a 3.28 percent national share, lived with a roommate or boarder. Among married couples, the rate was 0.46 percent, or more than 280,000 households; the share has doubled since 1995, and the historical average is 0.36 percent, finds Trulia. Married homeowners are driving up the share, as 0.34 percent live with roommates, 40 percent more than the historical average.

While most married couples tend to live without non-family members, the small percentage that take on roommates or boarders are seemingly doing so to help mitigate housing costs. In housing markets with the highest rates of married couples living with roommates, including Honolulu and Orange County, Calif., the share is between four and five times the national rate. And it’s probably no coincidence that the areas with the most married-with-roommate households are also fairly pricey: Markets exhibiting the highest rates of married couples with roommates tend to be concentrated on the West Coast, a known stronghold of high home prices.

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