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What is the most common type of household in the United States?

In 2022, more than half of American households were childless: 29% were married households without children, and 28.9% were single households without kids. More than a quarter of households included parents — 17.8% were married households, while 8.1% were single-parent households.

How have American households changed?

In 1960, households with married parents represented over 44% of all American households, while slightly over 13% were single with no children. Today, that’s inverted — in 2022, single people living alone and married couples without children outnumbered married-parent households.

Other household types have also become more common. Single-person households increased more than fivefold, from 6.9 million in 1960 to 37.9 million in 2022. In 2020, the Census Bureau also estimated that approximately 9 million US households are maintained by a cohabitating, unmarried couple, two-thirds of which are childless.

How have households stayed the same?

The proportion of American households that are married without children has remained relatively consistent since 1960, but the number of married households has increased with the country’s population. There were 38.1 million married, childless households in 2022, a 140% increase over 1960 — the country’s population grew by 84.5% during that same period.

For the latest data on households and marriage, read the America in Facts 2023 report and sign up for our newsletter.

Historical Households Tables
Last updated
November 2022