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More than 1 in 4 Americans now live alone

The percentage of single-person households in the US has been steadily increasing since the 1960’s (though the rate of increase has moderated in recent decades). As of last year (2018), 28% of Americans lived alone, according to the US Census Bureau. So about 1 in 4 households. This is in comparison to 13.1% of households in 1960.

Here is a chart from a recent WSJ article on the topic:

Not surprisingly, this is changing how marketers target households. Affluent, single-person households in urban areas have proven to be a boon to product makers because they tend to spend more per person and they tend to value time > money. Of course, this phenomenon also has implications for those of us who work as city builders.

For more historical household tables from the US Census Bureau, click here.

1 Comment so far

  1. Based on your numbers, 100 – 28 = 72% of Americans lived in households with more than two people. The comparison should be 28% vs 36% (or less). That’s close to saying that nearly half of the US households have only one resident. I never would have guessed.

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