The number of people who live alone — more than a quarter of all Americans — as well as married couples without children are on the rise in the US, according to newly released 2020 census data.
The trends reflect the country’s aging population with more empty-nesters as well as a growth in the number of Americans who postpone marriage and kids to later ages than generations before them.
The number of couples who lived with children under age 18 decreased by about 6% from the decade before and single-person households accounted for nearly 28% of all US homes, according to the data.
The number of married couples who didn’t share their homes with kids also rose by 10.6% to 36 million households. Conversely, there were just 22 million households made up of parents and their children, the data shows.
Married couples still accounted for most household types — 46% — in America, but that share has steadily declined over the past several decades, the census survey found. In 1990, 55% of all households were made up of married couples.
However, the number of people living alone or with non-related roommates increased at a higher rate than typical family homes — a rise of 12% compared to just 7%.
Among the “non-family household” types, the number of women living with roommates saw the biggest increase with a nearly 20% gain.
The number of women living in a home with no spouse or partner was significantly greater than the number of men living in a home without a spouse or partner with 35 million to 24 million.
The 2020 census also collected data on the different shares of opposite-sex partners and of same-sex partners for the first time.
According to the results, married same-sex couples accounted for 0.5% of all US households and unmarried same-sex couples accounted for nearly 0.4%.
The states with higher concentrations of same-sex couples were primarily located along the west coast and in the Northeast.
The census doesn’t include information about single queer people or transgender people.