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Women's Health USA 2013 An illustrated collection of current and historical data, published annually.

Household Composition

Narrative

In 2012, 50.3 percent of women aged 18 years and older were married and living with a spouse; this includes married couples living with other people, such as parents. About 13 percent of women over age 18 were the heads of their households, meaning that they have children or other family members, but no spouse, living with them. Women who are heads of households include single mothers, single women with a parent or other close relative living in their home, and women with other household compositions. About 15 percent of women lived alone, 13.8 percent lived with relatives, and 7.9 percent lived with non-relatives.

Household composition varies significantly by age. Young women aged 18–24 years were most likely to be living with relatives (58.7 percent) and with non-relatives (16.8 percent), while over 60 percent of women aged 35–44 and 45–64 were living with a spouse. Being a head of household with no spouse present was most common among women aged 25–44. Older women, aged 65 and above, were most likely to be living alone or with a spouse.

In 2012, non-Hispanic Black women were most likely to be single heads of households with family members present (27.5 percent), while non-Hispanic Asian and non-Hispanic White women were least likely (7.6 and 9.4 percent, respectively). Over 30 percent of single female heads of households with family members had incomes below the poverty level. (Find more at Women’s Health USA 2012, Women and Poverty.)

In 2011, same-sex couples comprised about 1 percent of all households, with female couples accounting for 53.0 percent of those households.1 Almost one-quarter of female same-sex couple households had children (23.2 percent) compared to 11.0 percent of male same-sex couple households and 40.7 percent of opposite-sex couple households.2 Householders within same-sex couples tend to have higher levels of educational attainment than those of opposite-sex couples. Over half of male same-sex couple householders had a college degree (52.3 percent), followed by 45.7 percent of female same-sex couple householders, and 35.8 percent of opposite-sex couple householders (data not shown in graph images or in data tables on this site).3

1 U.S. Census Bureau link leaves hrsa.gov site. 2011 American Community Survey. Characteristics of Same-Sex Couple Households, 2011. Accessed 06/14/13.

2 U.S. Census Bureau link leaves hrsa.gov site. 2011 American Community Survey. Characteristics of Same-Sex Couple Households, 2011. Accessed 06/14/13.

3 U.S. Census Bureau link leaves hrsa.gov site. 2011 American Community Survey. Characteristics of Same-Sex Couple Households, 2011. Accessed 06/14/13.

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Graphs

Data

Women Aged 18 and Older,* by Age and Household Composition, 2012
Age Group Percent of Women, Married, Spouse Present Percent of Women, Head of Household, No Spouse Present Percent of Women, Living Alone Percent of Women, Living with Relatives Percent of Women, Living with Non-Relatives
*Includes the civilian, non-institutionalized population. Percentages may not equal 100 due to rounding.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2012 Annual Social and Economic Supplement. Table A2. Family Status and Household Relationship of People 15 Years and Over, by Marital Status, Age, and Sex: 2012. Accessed 06/7/2013.
18-24 Years 10.6 9.2 4.8 58.7 16.8
25-34 Years 48.4 16.5 8.5 12.7 14.1
35-44 Years 62.9 18.1 6.5 6.2 6.3
45-64 Years 62.3 12.2 14.7 5.2 5.7
65 Years and Older 44.6 8.5 36.1 8.3 2.5
Total 50.3 12.8 15.1 13.8 7.9

Women Aged 18 and Older Who Are Heads of Households with Family Members,* by Race/Ethnicity, 2012

Percent of Women:

  • Non-Hispanic White 9.4
  • Non-Hispanic Black 27.5
  • Hispanic 17.8
  • Non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native 20.1
  • Non-Hispanic Asian 7.6
  • Non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 12.1
  • Non-Hispanic Multiple Race 16.3

*Includes the civilian, non-institutionalized population; includes those who are heads of households and have children or other family members, but no spouse, living in a house that they own or rent.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey (CPS) Table Creator II for the Annual Social and Economic Supplement.