The Economic Perspective: “Are Households Getting Smaller?”
Mary: I’m Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective. Today’s program asks if households are getting smaller. Mike, a household is one of our key social measures. A households consists simply of people living under the same roof in a dwelling unit. They can be related or unrelated. Have households been changing in an important way in recent years?
Mike: Summary Answer
- Indeed they have – they have been getting smaller
- In the 1950s there were almost 3.5 individuals per household
- Today it’s 2.5 – a drop of 30%
- Many reasons – smaller families, more single person households, fewer extended families, more divorce, and individuals staying in school longer
- But in recent years the pace of the drop has slowed
- As housing becomes more expensive, more people are pooling their money to share a dwelling unit
- Also, with more older parents living longer, there’s been a small revival of extended families
- But unlikely to go back t the 1950s numbers
- I’m MW
Mary: And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.