3 Charts That Show How American Households Have Totally Changed Over The Last 40 Years

A fascinating report from the Census (via Heidi Moore and Marketing Charts) takes a look at how the structure and habitation of U.S. households has changed dramatically since 1970.

The report is titled “America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2012” and its findings include the following bullets.

• 60-six per cent of households in 2012 were family households, down from 81 per cent in 1970.

• Between 1970 and 2012, the share of households that were married couples with children under 18 halved from 40 per cent to 20 per cent.

• The proportion of one-person households increased by 10 percentage points between 1970 and 2012, from 17 per cent to 27 per cent.

• Between 1970 and 2012, the average number of people per household declined from 3.1 to 2.6.

The following charts really drive home the way things have changed.

First, you can see that the per cent of households that have two parents and children is down to 20 per cent from 40.3 per cent in 1970.


The number of households that are single men has surged, while the per cent of households that are single older women has dropped considerably.


And overall, the number of households with just one person in them has surged, while the percentage of households with five people or more has fallen from over 20 per cent to less than 10 per cent of households.