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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2021

Census Bureau Releases New Estimates on America’s Families and Living Arrangements

Release Number CB21-TPS.138

NOV. 29, 2021 – The percentage of adults living with a spouse decreased from 52% to 50% over the past decade, according to newly released estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual America’s Families and Living Arrangements table package.

At the same time, living alone became slightly more common: 37 million (15%) adults age 18 and over lived alone in early 2021, up from 33 million (14%) in 2011. The percentage of adults living with an unmarried partner also inched up over the past decade, from 7% to 8%.

These statistics come from the 2021 Current Population Survey’s Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC), which collects labor force data as well as data on a variety of characteristics of households, living arrangements, married/unmarried couples and children. The ASEC has been conducted for more than 60 years and so allows for an examination of trends in families and living arrangements.

Other Highlights

Households and Families

  • There were 37 million one-person households in 2021, or 28% of all U.S. households. In 1960, single-person households represented only 13% of all households.
  • The number of families with their own children under age 18 in the household declined over the last two decades. In 2021, 40% of all U.S. families lived with their own children, compared to 44% in 2011 and 48% in 2001.

Marriage

  • In 2021, 34% of adults age 15 and over had never been married, up from 23% in 1950.
  • The estimated median age to marry for the first time was 30.4 for men and 28.6 for women in early 2021, up from ages 23.7 and 20.5, respectively, in 1947.  
  • In 2021, less than one-quarter (24%) of children under age 15 living in married-couple families had a stay-at-home mother, compared to 1% with a stay-at-home father.

Living Arrangements

  • Some living arrangements differed by sex and age group in 2021. The percentage of men and women ages 18 to 24 that lived alone, about 5% each, did not significantly differ. More women than men in this age group lived with a spouse, 7% and 4%, respectively. The percentage of men ages 18 to 24 living alone was not significantly different from the percentage of men who lived with a spouse. A greater share of women (12%) than men (7%) this age also lived with an unmarried partner.
  • Men and women ages 25 to 34 were more likely than their younger peers to live with a spouse or unmarried partner: one-third (33%) of men and 42% of women lived with a spouse in early 2021. But about the same share (17%) of both men and women of these ages lived with an unmarried partner. These patterns were likely related to the lower median age of women (28.6) than men (30.4) at first marriage.
  • In 2021, more than one-half (58%) of adults ages 18 to 24 lived in their parental home, compared to 17% of adults ages 25 to 34.

For more data on families and living arrangements, visit Families and Living Arrangements at <www.census.gov>.

No news release associated with this product. Tip sheet only. 

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Contact


Frances Alonzo
Public Information Office
301-763-3030 or
877-861-2010 (U.S. and Canada only)
pio@census.gov

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