How many single person households were there in 1909? Or 1945? Or 2011?
Those aren't necessarily easy questions to answer, but today, we're going to first by visualizing the number of single person households in the United States since 1900, and then by presenting a tool to extract the data from our visualization. To do that, we'll use all the data we've been able to obtain from the U.S. Census Bureau, which up until 1960, isn't very much. That limitation is what makes those questions not so easy to answer!
To get around that limitation, we've created a model of the percentage share of single person households for each year since 1900 for the data that we do have available, which we can then use to estimate the number of single person households over time in conjunction with our previously introduced model describing the total number of U.S. households since 1900!
All that work comes together in our chart below:
You can use the following tool to extract the estimated number of households or single person households for any given year shown in the chart above, along with the percentage of single person households among all U.S. households.
Political Calculations. Modeling U.S. Households Since 1900. 8 February 2013.
U.S. Census Bureau. Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2003. Table No. HS-12. Households by Type and Size: 1900 to 2002. [PDF Document].
U.S. Census Bureau. Demographic Trends in the 20th Century. Table 13. Households by Size for the United States: 1900 to 2000. [PDF Document].
U.S. Census Bureau. Table HH-4. Households by Size: 1960 to Present. Excel Spreadsheet].
Social Indicators 1976. Selected Data on Social Conditions and Trens in the United States. Table 2/17. Average Household Size, Single-Person Households as a Percent of All Households, and Number of Divorces per 1,000 Population, Selected Countries and Years: 1955-1975. [Online Book]. December 1977.