Posted in on August 28, 2013

A Look at American Families and Household Arrangements by Age and Gender

The US Census Bureau this month released a new report on “America’s Families and Living Arrangements.” There were a few key statistics that relate to our favorite kind of householders — baby boomers and seniors — that we wanted to share with those marketing to older adults.

Are baby boomers and seniors living alone?

Per the US Census Bureau’s report:

* 72 percent of men aged 65 and over lived with a spouse vs. with 45 percent of women. This reflects women’s longer life expectancy, higher rates of being widowed and lower rates of getting married again.

* Double the number of women over 65 can be found living alone: 10.9% of men over the age of 65 are live solo while 25.2% of women the same age do so.


chart - one person households by age and sex 1970 to 2012

* Between 2003 and 2012, the percentage of senior women over 65 living alone declined from 40% to 36%, which, the report states, “likely reflect[s] the gradually closing gap between male and female life expectancy.”

* As America continues to gray, the proportion of homes headed by a 65+ householder has increased (from 20% to 22% of all US households in just the last 5 years).

* Married households make up a smaller share of all American households and are older. Factors include delays in first marriage for both men and women, delays in childbearing for women, and the fact that in the 1970s younger baby boomers were still at home.

Trends in multigenerational households

* The share of one-person households with children headed by men over 65 has stayed the same, while those headed by women over 65 have gone up. The Census Bureau report explains this by noting that as divorce rates rose, women typically maintained custody of the children. (And sometimes they boomerang back well past the time of being “children”!)

* Multigenerational households are more likely to contain folks born outside of the United States.

* 1.5% of America’s families have a grandparent as head of household with grandchildren under 18 living at home. This percentage rises to 3.6% if you look only at families headed by African-Americans. Asian grandparents are least likely to have young grandchildren living with them (0.7%).


Download the US Census Bureau Report:


Multigenerational Households on the Rise and Impacting Community Marketing

Grandparent Economy

Five Fast Facts (and Related Marketing Tips) about Baby Boomer and Senior Women

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