Household Composition

Other demographic changes that could impact the design market include changes in household composition as summarized in the 2010 U. S. Census. Households are becoming smaller. In 2010, one – and two-person households accounted for more than 63 percent of all households. The share of single-person households rose to 28 percent, with a higher percentage being 65 and older. Married couples, for the first time, represented less than 50 percent of the households (48 percent) and unrelated adults living together made up 6.2 percent. Married couples with children were fewer than 20 percent of all households. The largest change in household composition was an increase in households headed by women without husbands—up 18 percent since 2000.

One other prominent change in households is the return of the multigenerational family household as reported by the Pew Research Center in 2010. A record 49 million Americans, or 16.1 percent of the population, in 2008 lived in a household that included at least two adult generations or a grandparent. The rate was only 12 percent in 1980. Multigenerational trends include:

• In 2010, 44.7 percent of the 20 to 24 year olds who do not live on their own are living with their parents, along with 18.0 percent of the 25 to 29 year olds. Since 2005, an additional 1.6 million young adults live at home. Many reasons could account for this increase in adult children living at home, including difficulty with finding a job or launching a career, or mar­rying at an older age. In the 25 to 34 age group, more men than women are likely to live in multigenerational family households.

• The high rate of immigration since 1970 was dominated by Latin Americans and Asians, who are far more inclined to be part of a multigenerational household. Hispanics (22 percent), blacks (23 percent), and Asians (25 percent) are all more likely than whites (13 percent) to be a multi­generational household.

• A significant change in multigenerational composition involves older adults. Once more likely to live in such situations (57 percent of adults 65 and older in 1900), only 17 percent of older adults today live in multigenerational family households because of better health, better finan­cial situations, and better social safety net programs. This number has been increasing some in recent years due to the availability of more grown children who are informed caregivers and recent cuts in Medicare programs. More likely to outlive their spouse, a higher percentage of women are part of this type of household.

• Some 49 million Americans live in a multigenerational family household. Of those, 47 percent are made up of two adult generations of the same family with the youngest adult at least 25 years of age, 47 percent live with three or more generations of family members, and 6 percent belong to a "skipped" generation household with a grandparent and grandchild and no parent.

Updated: September 23, 2015 — 6:40 pm