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Be my roomie? Why more adults than ever before in LA are living with roommates

by AirTalk®

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Actors Courteney Cox Arquette (L), Jennifer Aniston (C) and Matthew Perry are shown in a scene from the NBC series 'Friends'. The series received 11 Emmy nominations, including outstanding comedy series, by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences July 18, 2002 in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images/Getty Images

Nearly half of all working age adults in Los Angeles have at least one roommate. That’s according to a new study from online real estate database Zillow. The L.A. area has a larger percentage of working age adults living in what they call “doubled-up housing” than any other major metropolitan area in the U.S. Here in Southern California, 48 percent of working-age adults live in doubled-up housing. That number is up 41 percent from just twelve years ago.

The study defines “doubled-up housing” as “one in which at least two working-age, unmarried or un-partnered adults live together.” So by this definition, a 24-year-old young woman living with her middle-aged parents is a doubled-up household. Zillow attributes the rise in number of roommates to individual incomes not keeping pace with rising home and rental prices.

There are some who still choose to live with roommates for the companionship, but the numbers in the study may suggest that many are living in doubled-up housing because they need to cut the cost of rent, not because they want to live with someone.

Is the culture of working-age adult living situations changing as well? Is it becoming the norm for employed adults to have a roommate instead of living along? If so, why do you think the trend is changing?

For more on this story and the struggle of working-age Angelenos to find affordable housing, visit KPCC's "High Rent, Few Options" page at


Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow

Ellie Balderrama-Hernandez, realtor at The Rental Girl, she covers Los Feliz, Atwater Village, and Silver Lake

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