American sitcoms like Friends and The Big Bang Theory chart the lives of roommates living together and make it seem like the United States is a nation of "doubling up". Is the roommate trait really as widespread across America as TV makes us believe? According to Zillow, the answer is yes, and it's surging.
Back in 2002, 25.4 percent of adults in the United States lived with roommates. By 2012, this had increased to 32.0 percent. Los Angeles has the highest percentage of adults living together - 47.9 percent. New York has also seen a steady increase in doubling up with the percentage of people living with roommates increasing from 37.3 percent in 2002 to 42.2 percent in 2012. The booming roommate phenomenon is a possible reason for the slow recovery of the housing sector - the 7 percent increase nationwide between 2002 and 2012 could have accounted for 5 million potential households.
This chart shows the percentage of adults living in "doubled up" households in selected US cities in 2000 and 2012.
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