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Statistical Brief: Home Alone in 1989

Report Number SB/92-15

More of us live alone these days. According to the Census of Population, there were 11.2 million one-person households in 1970. The 1989 American Housing Survey (AHS) shows this figure doubled to 22.4 million. As a result, almost 1 in 4 (24 percent) of the Nation's 94 million householders lived by themselves in 1989. Why this rise? Some possible contributing factors:

  • The desire for privacy.
  • Young adults delaying marriage.
  • Older persons who have either never married or live alone following a divorce or death of a spouse.

This Brief uses data from the 1989 AHS to focus on one facet of one-person householders—their housing characteristics. It looks particularly at the differences and similarities between men and women who live alone. The AHS is sponsored by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and conducted by the Bureau of the Census.


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