Average Household Size

Why is this important?

The population and the housing types that will meet their needs can be viewed by the way individuals live together. Average household size (people per household) is calculated by dividing the household population by total households. Households include all persons living together, regardless of their relationship[i]. Average household size can also be a reflection of personal or cultural preferences or economic choices. A mismatch between household size and the size (square footage and number of bedrooms) of the dwelling can indicate a lack of adequate housing or unmet housing need for either larger or smaller homes. Anticipating changes in the size and composition of households is important for many housing-related issues and associated policies, including the needs of elderly single-person households, intergenerational housing options, and housing types to meet all life cycles [ii]. Broadly, the changing composition of households may create a demand for the design and price of new housing types [iii].


[i] “Households and Families.” Central Texas Sustainability Indicators Project. 2013. Web 28 August 2017. <http://indicatorsproject.com/demographics/households-and-families/>.

[ii] Jiang, Leiwan and Brian C. O’Neill. “Impacts of Demographic Trends on US Household Size and Structure.” Population and Development Review. 33.3 (2007). https://www.jstor.org/stable/25434636?seq=2#page_scan_tab_contents

[iii] “APA Policy Guide on Housing.” American Planning Association. 2006. Web 28 August 2017.  <https://www.planning.org/policy/guides/adopted/housing.htm>.