Friday, September 16, 2011

1.3 Million More Living Alone

You would think in the middle of a massive economic downturn Americans would be less inclined to live alone. Yet the Census Bureau's 2011 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement--which provides official income and poverty statistics--finds almost the entire 1.1 million increase in households between 2010 and 2011 to have occurred in the number of people who live alone. This would explain why average household size fell slightly from 2.59 to 2.58 people.

People living alone
2011: 32,723,000
2010: 31,399,000
Difference = +1,324,000

The increase in single-person households was not caused by more of the elderly living alone. The numerical gains occurred almost entirely among people under age 65. The biggest increase in the propensity to live alone occurred in the 55-to-64 age group. Among women in the age group, the share who live alone grew from 17.8 to 19.0 percent between 2010 and 2011. Among men in the age group, the share climbed from 15.2 to 17.2 percent. More than one in four households in the United States (27.6 percent) are people who live alone.

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