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For Immediate Release: Wednesday, November 14, 2018

U.S. Census Bureau Releases 2018 Families and Living Arrangements Tables

Press Release Number CB18-TPS.54

NOV. 14, 2018 – Adults in the United States are increasingly delaying saying “I Do” as the median age at first marriage continues to climb, according to new data released today by the Census Bureau.

The median age at first marriage in the United States has continued to rise in recent years from 27.1 and 25.3 years in 2003 for males and females, respectively, to 29.8 and 27.8 years in 2018. This upward trend is consistent with other changes to U.S. households and family structure according to new tables released today by the Census Bureau. 

As the nation’s household and family structure continues to change and median age at first marriage rises, the proportion of young adults who are married has decreased. In 2018, 29 percent of young adults ages 18 to 34 were married, a decrease of 30 percentage points when compared to 59 percent of young adults being married in 1978.

Along with changes in the age of first marriage and marriage rates, there have been changes in the number of young adults living with an unmarried partner. In 2018, 15 percent of young adults ages 25 to 34 lived with an unmarried partner, up from 12 percent in 2008. Among those ages 18 to 24, cohabitation is now more prevalent than living with a spouse; 9 percent of these young adults lived with an unmarried partner, compared to 7 percent who lived with a spouse in 2018.

Other Highlights:


  • In 2018, there are 35.7 million single-person households, composing 28 percent of all households. In 1960, single-person households represented only 13 percent of all households.

Marriage and Family

  • In 2018, 32 percent of all adults age 15 and over have never been married, up from 23 percent in 1950.
  • Over a quarter (27 percent) of children under the age of 15 who live in married-couple families have a stay-at-home mother, compared to only 1 percent who have a stay-at-home father.

Living Arrangements of Adults and Children

  • Over half (54 percent) of young adults ages 18 to 24 live in the parental home, compared to 16 percent of young adults ages 25 to 34.

Unmarried Couples

  • In 2018, there were 8.5 million unmarried opposite-sex couples living together.

These statistics come from the 2018 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement, which has collected statistics on families for more than 60 years. The data shows characteristics of households, living arrangements, married and unmarried couples, and children.

For more data on families and living arrangements, visit Families & Living Arrangements on census.gov.

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Jewel Jordan
Public Information Office

Page Last Revised - October 8, 2021
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