Every American family is different. The number of parents, children, and extended family members differs between each household. Family size varies from state to state, but not the differences are not significantly large. Most families have one or two children, and a few states have slightly higher numbers.
The size of families has decreased significantly throughout the nation's history. The average household was 5.79 people in 1790, which has significantly decreased to 2.58 in 2010. This can be attributed to a declining fertility rate and fewer extended family arrangements. However, the size of households has been increasing this decade, as there were 2.61 people per household in 2019. This trend could result from an increasing share of the population residing in multigenerational households and more Americans doubling up in shared living quarters after the effects of the Great Recession.
An increase in household size can have an impact on the economy. Increasing household sizes decrease the demand for housing, the need for furniture and appliances, and new real estate development. Additionally, there will be fewer internet and cable subscriptions and other home-related purchases and investments.
Larger households may hurt the economy; however, having a larger household is often beneficial for the household itself. For example, household members may be working adults who contribute to a larger household income.
According to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, there are about 128,579,000 households in the United States. Householders of Hispanic origin have the largest average household size of 3.22 people. Householders between the age of 35 to 39 years old have the largest household size of 3.39 people.
Household Size by State
Utah has the largest average household size of 3.08 people per household. This is attributed to Utah being one of the most fertile states in the nation, where families have more children on average than other states. Utah's birth rate is 14.9 births per 1,000 people, the highest in the U.S.