Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Households Doubling Up and Housing

by Calculated Risk on 9/14/2011 01:54:00 PM

Yesterday David Johnson at the Census Bureau wrote: Households Doubling Up

In coping with economic challenges over the past few years, many of us have combined households with other family members or individuals. These “doubled-up” households are defined as those that include at least one “additional” adult – in other words, a person 18 or older who is not enrolled in school and is not the householder, spouse or cohabiting partner of the householder.

The Census Bureau reported today that the number and share of doubled-up households and adults sharing households across the country increased over the course of the recession, which began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009. In spring 2007, there were 19.7 million doubled-up households, amounting to 17.0 percent of all households. Four years later, in spring 2011, the number of such households had climbed to 21.8 million, or 18.3 percent.
David Johnson reported the numbers for spring 2007 and spring 2011. Here are the numbers for all years from spring 2007 through spring 2011. This is based on a survey of "roughly 78,000 households" as part of the Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Current Population Survey. (Source: Census Bureau research, "Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States" report)


YearDoubled-up Households (000s)1Percent of Households2
200719,74717.0%
200819,95617.1%
200920,68317.7%
201022,00018.7%
201121,76618.3%

It appears the percent of households that are doubled-up peaked in 2010, and is starting to decline. This is probably part of the reason for the pickup last year in demand for rental units since most people leaving a doubled-up household probably rent as opposed to buy.

If there were a strong increase in employment, there would probably be a sharp increase in households - both from normal growth and from people moving out of doubled-up households. And that would help absorb the excess supply of housing units. Of course there probably won't be a strong increase in employment until more of the excess housing supply is absorbed!

Notes:
1 The increase in the number and percent of doubled-up households between 2007 and 2011 was significant. The increase in the number of doubled up households was significant at the 10% level between 2008 and 2009 and between 2009 and 2010. The change in the number of doubled-up households between 2010 and 2011 was not statistically significant. The number of doubled-up households did not change significantly between either 2007 and 2008 or 2010 and 2011.

2 The percentage point increase in doubled up households was significant at the 10% level between 2008 and 2009 and between 2009 and 2010. The percentage point decline in doubled-up households between 2010 and 2011 was also significant at the 10% level. The percentage of doubled-up households as a proportion of all households did not change significantly between 2007 and 2008.