June 20, 2015

23 Surprising Statistics on the US Household

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Just how many households are there in the U.S.? The American family is changing. Read on for 23 surprising U.S. household statistics.

© Jake Stimpson (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

The image of the typical American family has changed dramatically over the last several decades. The standard "Mom, Dad, 2.5 kids and a white picket fence" model is becoming the exception rather than the norm. Rising divorce rates, an increase in the number of women working outside the home, a tougher economy and greater ethnic and cultural diversity are just some of the things contributing to the shift.

CreditDonkey was interested in taking a closer look at how modern U.S. households are constructed and what kind of economic challenges they face. Drawing on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Federal Reserve and a private consulting firm, we were able to create a list of 23 provocative statistics on American households.


We decided to begin our study by covering the basics. The first set of figures we collected includes the number of households in the U.S., how many people live in each household on average and how they compare demographically.

1. How many households are there in the U.S.?
According to the most recent data available, there were 116,291,033 households in the U.S. in 2013. That's a slight decline from the 117.5 million recorded in 2010.

2. What's the total household population?
Through January 2015, the total household population was estimated at 312,026,471 people.

3. What's the average number of people per household?
Small families seem to be the norm; as of 2013, the average household consisted of 2.65 people , up from 2.59 people in 2010.

4. What percentage of households include at least one person under 18?
Households with one or more people under the age of 18 account for 32% of all households in America.

5. What percentage include a senior citizen?
As more baby boomers reach retirement age, the number of senior households continues to grow. In 2013, 36.4% of U.S. households had at least one member aged 60 or older.

6. What percentage of householders live alone?
If you live alone, you're not alone. Singles represent 27.7% of householders who have their homes all to themselves.

7. How many of them are elderly?
While the Golden Girls opted to live together, some seniors prefer to go solo. Approximately 10% of single householders in 2013 were over the age of 65.

8. What percentage of households include unmarried couples?
For some lovebirds, there's no rush to walk down the aisle, and unmarried couples represent just over 6% of all households. The majority include partners of the opposite sex, but same-sex couples account for 0.4% of households.


Once we determined just how many households there are in the U.S., we decided to do some digging and look at family dynamics. Some of the things we chose to focus on include single parent households and the ages of children living in family groups.

9. How many families are there in the U.S.?
Families represent approximately 76,680,463 households in America, and the average family size is approximately 3.26 people. Compared to 2010, that's a decline of about 2 million households.

10. How many family households include children?
There were 33,281,870 family households that included at least one child under the age of 18 in 2013. Nearly 22% of households with children have kids that are under 6 years old. Fifty-eight percent only have children between the ages of 6 and 17 while the rest have children of all ages.

11. How many family households are headed by married couples?
Married couples account for the largest number of family households, totaling 55,858,808 as of 2013. The average household size for married couples is 3.29 individuals.

12. How many are headed by single men?
For 2013, the total number of family households where there was no wife present came out to 5,619,899 . The average household size was 3.52 people.

13. How many of those households include children?
In 2,660,793 of those households run by a man only, there was at least one child under the age of 18. The majority, nearly 58%, included kids between the ages of 6 and 17.

14. How many households are headed by single women?
Households where there's no husband present are much more common; in 2013, there were 15,201,756 of them in the U.S.

15. How many of them have minor children?
More than half of female-headed households include children under the age of 18. That adds up to 8,378,172 single mom households. In 61% of them, the children were in the 6 to 17 age range.


We dedicated the final part of our study to analyzing economic data for U.S. households. Specifically, we zeroed in on how much money households are bringing in, how indebted they are and what degree of financial security they've achieved.

16. What's the median household income?
Thanks to declining wages, the median household income has remained relatively flat over the last few years. For 2013, the typical household brought in $51,939 for the year.

17. What's the median household net worth?
Household net worth, which is essentially how your total assets compare to your total liabilities, has been on a slight downward slide in recent years. Between 2010 and 2013, the median net worth dipped by 2% to $81,200 .

18. How many families live in poverty?
According to the most recent data available, there are 45 million people living below the poverty level in the U.S. That breaks down to nearly 32 million families who are impoverished.

19. How many households are millionaires?
Through 2013, there were 7 million households in the U.S. that had attained millionaire status. That represents an 18% increase over 2012 figures.

20. What percentage of households own a home?
Home ownership has been declining steadily over the last few years; just 63.5% of households lived in a home they owned in 2013.

21. What percentage of households are in debt?
Being in debt can be financially burdensome for families, and about 75% of family households held mortgage, vehicle or other loans in 2013.

22. How many households owe student loans?
Student loan debt tops $1.2 trillion in the U.S., and some 20% of families owe education loans. The median loan balance jumped from $13,900 to $16,000 between 2010 and 2013.

23. How many households have credit card debt?
Credit card debt plagues 38% of households in the U.S., but there is some good news. The median balance declined from $2,800 in 2010 to $2,300 in 2013.


The data we found provides some interesting insight on households in America, particularly with regard to the gap between rich and poor. The good news is that Americans seem more committed to paying down their high-interest debt and tackling those expensive student loans.

Sources and References:

Rebecca Lake is a journalist at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and reviews website. Write to Rebecca Lake at rebecca@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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