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Data on Families and Living Arrangements

Data on families and living arrangements can be found from a variety of sources. These sources are listed below with brief descriptions to help you decide which data source would best suit your needs. Availability of data by time and geography are highlighted in the sections below. The links below will take you to the appropriate page for data on families and living arrangements by survey.

American Community Survey (ACS)

The American Community Survey (ACS) is an annual national survey collected monthly which provides communities with reliable and timely demographic, housing, social, and economic data every year. Data about families and living arrangements are available for the U.S., states, counties, selected metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas, and selected zip codes. There are over a thousand detailed tables in American FactFinder (AFF). There are over 700 recurring tables with data on families and living arrangements. Data are available from 2000 to the present.

Current Population Survey (CPS)

The Current Population Survey (CPS) is a monthly survey of about 50,000 households conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The survey has been conducted for more than 50 years. Data about families and living arrangements are collected annually as part of the Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC). For CPS definitions and explanations, or for additional information about the Current Population Survey, visit the CPS website. An annual table package is produced with national level living arrangements and characteristics for adults, children, married couples, unmarried couples, households, and families. These tables are among the most detailed published by the Bureau. CPS collects data about the presence and type (bio, step, adoptive) of two parents in the household for everyone, as well as the presence of a spouse or cohabiting partner. This allows for detail about children’s living arrangements and subfamilies which is not possible in ACS and Decennial Census data. Data about families and living arrangements are available from about 1960 to present.

The Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP)

The Survey of Income and Program Participation is a longitudinal panel survey of demographic information, income, labor force characteristics, and program participation in the United States with supplemental topical modules including questions on topics such as child well being, child care and detailed household relationships. Data are available for the U.S. since the beginning of the SIPP program in 1985.

The Decennial Census

The Decennial Census occurs every 10 years, in years ending in zero, to count the population and housing units for the entire United States. Its primary purpose is to provide the population counts that determine how seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are apportioned. Data about families and living arrangements are available for the U.S., 50 states and the District of Columbia, counties, and subcounty statistical areas (such as zip codes and block groups) from 1790 to the present.


Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Families and Living Arrangements |  Last Revised: 2014-04-23T11:59:47.009-04:00