Population Living Alone & Age 65 Years and Over

.. how many people are living alone in your community, neighborhood? How does this population impact the community? What are their special needs? How does this population vary by area and population group? There were 37.9 million one-person households, 29% of all U.S. households in 2022. In 1960, single-person households represented only 13% of all households. These estimates are based on the 2022 Current Population Survey (CPS). Moving forward, the number of one-person households, people living alone, will increase at the rate of one million or more per year. People in households exclude people living in group quarters. This post examines patterns of people living alone with focus on people living alone age 65 year and over and distribution by small area geography.

While the CPS data provide a current snapshot of the number of people living alone, we have to use data from the American Community Survey to obtain data for smaller area geography like counties and census tracts.

Population Living Alone by Census Tract –Visual Data Analytics
The four graphics below show patterns of the population living alone by census tract. These views have been developed using the Visual Data Analytics (VDA GIS) tools with integrated demographics. Develop variations on these views using the VDA Web GIS using only a web browser.

Patterns of Population Living Alone by Tract

.. click graphic for larger view.

Patterns of Population 65 and Over Living Alone by Tract

.. click graphic for larger view.

Patterns of Population Living Alone by Tract — Houston Metro Area

Patterns of Population 65 and Over Living Alone by Tract — Houston Metro Area

Examine the Data in More Detail
As noted in this related New York Times story, nearly 26 million Americans 50 or older now live alone, up from 15 million in 2000. Older people have always been more likely than others to live by themselves makes up a bigger share of the population than at any time in the nation’s history. The trend has also been driven by deep changes in attitudes surrounding gender and marriage. People 50-plus today are more likely than earlier generations to be divorced, separated or never married. Similar ACS data as used to develop the graphics shown above are available by race/origin. These data are based on the ACS 2020 data; the same scope of data will be available from ACS 2021 to be released in December 2022.

VDA Web GIS is a decision-making information resource designed to help stakeholders create and apply insight. Use VDA Web GIS with only a Web browser; nothing to install; GIS experience not required. VDA Web GIS has been developed and is maintained by Warren Glimpse, ProximityOne (Alexandria, VA) and Takashi Hamilton, Tsukasa Consulting (Osaka, Japan).

About the Author
Warren Glimpse is former senior Census Bureau statistician responsible for national scope statistical programs and innovative data access and use operations. He is also the former associate director of the U.S. Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards for data access and use. He has more than 20 years of experience in the private sector developing data resources and tools for integration and analysis of geographic, demographic, economic and business data. Join Warren on LinkedIn.

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