According to new data from the US Census Bureau, analyzed by the Marketing Charts staff, the average size of the American household has diminished by about one person over the past 65 years. The average population per household now stands at 2.55, down from 3.67 in 1948. Much of that decline is attributable to the growth in one person households, which have almost quintupled in number from 1960, and now account for 27% of all households.
Household Size (Number of HH by Number of Persons in Household)
People in HH
Avg Pers per HH
Those single person households aren’t only the domain of youth... more than half of householders 75 and older live alone as of this year. That compares to less than one-quarter of householders less than 30. (households excludes group-quarters arrangements such as school dormitories, nursing homes, or military barracks.)
Households By Age of Householder
Another statistic stands out, says the report. The Census Bureau data shows that the percentage of households headed by adults aged 75 and older has grown from 6% in 1960 to 10% this year. And in the past 12 years, the share of households headed by 30-44 year-olds has fallen from a peak of 34% in 1990 to just 26% this year. The Census Bureau attributes these changes to the aging of the Baby Boomers, who control 70% of US disposable income. In fact, the percentage of households headed by adults aged 45-64 represents a plurality among age demographics, at 39%.
Additional findings from the study:
The latest Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Current Population Survey was conducted in February, March and April of 2012 for a nationwide sample of about 100,000 addresses.
For the detailed census data in XLS format, please visit the Census Bureau here.