- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 10, 2010

More than one in four American households has only one person in it, reflecting a slow but steady expansion of single living, the Census Bureau reports.

Factors that lead to people living by themselves include delaying marriage in one’s youth; permanently separating or getting a divorce; living longer as a widow or widower; and never marrying, researchers say.

Single living was once fairly uncommon — only 13 percent of U.S. homes had single householders in 1960, the bureau noted in its new report, “America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2010.”

But over the decades, the number of one-person homes more than doubled and now 27 percent of U.S. households are “just me” homes.

The census report, which captures socioeconomic characteristics of the nation’s families and households, also found:

• Fewer households made of a married couple with minor children (21 percent, down from 24 percent in 2000);

• Fewer minor children living with two married parents (66 percent, down from 69 percent in 2000);

• More stay-at-home mothers in these married-couple-with-children homes (23 percent, up from 21 percent in 2000); and

• More children living with a grandparent in the home (10 percent, up from 8 percent in 2001).