Who Lives Alone? Characteristics of One-Person Households: 1990 and 2000

Frank Hobbs, U.S. Census Bureau
Janet Wysocki, U.S. Census Bureau

Between 1990 and 2000, living alone became more common than the number of married-couple households with only natural or adopted children (U.S. Census Bureau, 2005). This poster examines selected social and economic characteristics of one-person households using data from the population censuses of 1990 and 2000. Two common perceptions of people living alone are that they are largely made up of young never-married people and elderly widowed women. However, census data show that during the 1990s people living alone declined among younger householders (15-34 years), increased modestly among older householders (65+), and increased most rapidly among householders aged 35-64. By 2000, nearly half (46 percent) of the population living alone was aged 35-64 years. In addition to age, this poster examines the distribution and change in the living alone population by gender, marital status, educational attainment, poverty status, housing tenure, and other characteristics. Geographic patterns are illustrated with state maps.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 2: Family, Households, Unions; Data, Methods, Study Design