Average size of households in the U.S. 1960-2018

Average number of people per household in the United States from 1960 to 2018

by Erin Duffin, last edited Apr 29, 2019
Average size of households in the U.S. 1960-2018 This graph shows the number of people per household in the U.S. from 1960 to 2018. The average American household consisted of 2.53 people in 2018.
Households in the U.S.

As shown in the statistic above, the number of people per household has decreased over the past decades.
The U.S. Census Bureau defines a household as follows: “a household includes all the persons who occupy a housing unit as their usual place of residence. A housing unit is a house, an apartment, a mobile home, a group of rooms, or a single room that is occupied (or if vacant, is intended for occupancy) as separate living quarters. Separate living quarters are those in which the occupants live and eat separately from any other persons in the building and which have direct access from outside the building or through a common hall. The occupants may be a single family, one person living alone, two or more families living together, or any other group of related or unrelated persons who share living arrangements. (People not living in households are classified as living in group quarters.).”
The population of the United States has been growing steadily for decades. Since 1960, the number of households more than doubled from 53 million to about 127 million households in 2018.
Most of these households, about 34 percent, are two-person households. The distribution of U.S. households has changed over the years though. The percentage of single-person households has been on the rise since 1970 and made up the second largest proportion of households in the U.S. in 2018, at 28 percent.
In concordance with the rise of single-person households, the percentage of family households with own children living in the household has declined since 1970 from 56 percent to 41 percent in 2017.
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Average number of people per household in the United States from 1960 to 2018

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