Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Three‐Generation Households in a Central and Eastern European Country: The Case of Hungary

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Abstract:  Using data from censuses and a microcensus between 1980 and 2016, this study examines the trends in three‐generational living arrangements, along with the factors that determine the prevalence and characteristics of the phenomenon in Hungary. Apart from the period between 1990 and 2001, the proportion of three‐generation households declined in all periods among households with children. In the decade after 1990, the rate increased due to the post‐transition economic recession and the severe housing shortage. The factors predicting a higher risk of three‐generation households were fairly consistent across the period considered, and the direction of the effect remained stable. However, some of those factors became more relevant over time (e.g., the education level of parents and single parenthood) and some became less relevant (e.g., rural residence). Meanwhile, three‐generation living is increasingly linked to social disadvantage, which is also the leading cause of poverty. This living arrangement is strongly associated with a stage in life where young people start to have children. Using data from the Hungarian Generations and Gender Survey, we determine that three‐generation living affects a significant proportion of families with children at a particular, relatively brief stage in their lives.

Keywords:  grandchildren; grandparents; Hungary; living arrangements; three‐generation households



© Judit Monostori. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.