About This Statistic
This graph shows the number of households in the United States from 1960 to 2016. In 2016, there were about 125.82 million households in the United States.
Households in the United States
According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, a household consists of all the people who occupy a housing unit. A house, an apartment or other group of rooms, or a single room, is regarded as a housing unit when it is occupied or intended for occupancy as separate living quarters. A household includes the related family members, as well as all the unrelated people who share the housing unit. A person living alone in a housing unit, or a group of unrelated people sharing a housing unit such as partners or roomers, is also counted as a household. The count of households excludes group quarters. There are two major categories of households, "family" and "nonfamily".
The number of households in the U.S. has been growing steadily over the past decades, as has the population in total. The total number of households has doubled from about 63 million in 1970 to over 123 million in 2014 in the last forty five years. During the same period, the total population has increased by 100 million people (about 50 percent growth). In line with this observation, data on the average size of U.S. households confirms that households tend to be smaller now. In 2014, the average household size stood at 2.54 persons per unit, down from 3.14 in 1970.
The distribution of households by household size has shifted as well over the years. One person households have increased from 17 percent of households in 1970 to 27 percent of households to 2013. On the other hand, large households have decreased share notably. Households larger than 5 members accounted for 21 percent of total households in 1970. In 2013, they account for only 9.5 percent.