From 2003 to 2009, the number of American households containing multiple families tripled. Crowded housing (when a household has more members than rooms) is most common among low-income families, is concentrated among younger people, and is frequently a response to unaffordable housing. Early exposure to crowding can affect health, developmental, social, and economic outcomes later in life. This study examined how crowding from birth to age 18 affects high school graduation status by age 19 and maximum educational attainment at age 25.
As education is a significant determining factor of economic well-being and other outcomes, the study’s findings suggest that household crowding during high school years might contribute to inequality over a person’s life.