Business Insider tells us that close to one third of the world’s population is experiencing stay-at-home orders. Thinking of the people who will live together during these lockdowns, let’s see how household size varies.
As many of us know, our household size can shape how we endure a lockdown. The range extends from living solo, to single parent households, to multiple generations in extended family living arrangements. It can also depend on our wealth and our geography.
Households tend to be smaller in wealthy countries and larger where there is less affluence:
We are also talking geography. Averaging 12 or more, households are largest in Gambia and Senegal. Not quite as big, in Pakistan the average is 8.5 and Nigeria, 7.7. Half of all Asians live in extended family homes:
Meanwhile, single parent homes are more prevalent in the U.S. and Europe. Although two parent households are most typical, 23 percent of all children live in a single parent household. Slightly less prevalent, there are many single parent households in Canada, France, and the U.K.:
But if you had to select one demographic most likely to live alone or in a smaller household, it is people who are aged 60 and older. In the U.S., 27 percent of the people who are aged 60 and older–and women more than men– live alone. We should note though China, at five percent and India, at two percent, have relatively fewer older people in solo accommodations;
Our Bottom Line: U.S. Households
Including the unrelated group living in one house and the single person in a small apartment, a household is just one person or more people who live and eat together. In the U.S. there are close to 128 million households.
Now, with lockdown orders spanning the globe, who we live with matters even more. Those of us who live alone will probably perceive the lockdown very differently from the people who dwell in a multi-generational extended family.
My sources and more: The synergy between FT’s updated graph and the Pew household data, here and here, gave both more meaning. I also recommend taking a look at the OECD’s Family Facts for its member countries and this BusinessInsider article.