What Is the Average Size of an American Family - Statistics & Facts 

What Is the Average Size of an American Family: Interesting Statistics & Facts 

In 2022, the average family in the US consisted of 3.13 persons. 

Despite a growth in the number of families and households, the American family has been gradually declining in size, going down from 3.8 persons in 1940 to an all-time low of 3.1 people in 2013. 

Let’s take a closer look at how much the American family has changed in time and what it looks like today. 

Average Household Size in the US

The U.S. Census Bureau defines a family as a group of at least two people who are related (by birth, marriage, or adoption) and are living together. The number of families in the United States has been gradually increasing, trailing population growth. 

At the same time, the average household size has been decreasing from 3.33 members in 1960 to 2.51 in 2021. 

1. There are 3.13 people in the average family in the USA.

(USAFacts, PRB)

The average family size in the US has declined from 3.8 in 1940 to 3.1 by 2021. The decline is mostly due to the decrease in family households with three or more people — for instance, in 1940, 27% of households had at least five members. By 2010, though, only 11% of families counted five people or more. 

2. There were 84.26 million families in the US in 2022. 

(Statista, Pew Research

While the share of members in the average family has declined over time, the number of families has been gradually increasing. In 2022, there were 84.23 million families living in the USA, up from just 45.11 million recorded in 1960. 

3. 64.7% of households in the US are families. 

(Census Bureau)

A household refers to all the people who occupy a housing unit, including non-relatives such as lodgers, wards, or foster children. 

As of 2021, nearly 65% of all households in the US are families, while nonfamily households make up 35.3% of all households in the United States.  

In 2022, there are 131 million households in the USA.

4. There are an average of 0.78 kids per family in the USA. 

(Statista, Census Bureau)

2022 data reveals that American families had an average of 1.94 of their own children under 18 a drop from 2.33 in 1960. The average number of children per family (aged under and over 18) was 0.78, down by 1.33 from 60 years ago. 

What’s more

  • Married couples had an average of 0.76 children per family
  • Single-father families had an average of 0.62
  • Single mothers had an average of 0.94 kids per family 

At the same time, married couples had 2.00 kids under 18 living with them, while single-father and single-mother families had an average of 1.67 and 1.85, respectively.

5. In 2022, 50.34 million families had no children under 18 living in the household. 


While the number of families with no children has been gradually increasing from 37.42 million in 2000, the number of families with children has remained constant. 

In 2022, 

  • 14.44 million had one child
  • Around 12.47 million had two kids 
  • 7.01 million had three children under 18 living in the household.

6. 40.02% of all family households in the USA have children. 


This represents a sharp decline from the 56% of family households whose children under 18 were living with them back in 1970. 

While the number of married couples with children has considerably declined between 1970 and 2021 (going down from 57% to 37.57%), the share of female-led and male-led households has remained more or less the same in the past 50 years — in 2021, 50.54% single mothers lived with their children under 18 compared to 38.22% of single fathers. 

Average household size by state

Family size in the US varies across states. Utah has the largest families and the highest number of children in the nation. As a result, Utah is one of the hottest housing markets in the US, seeing home values jump 26.8% between March 2023 and 2022.

7. At an average of 1.73, New Hampshire has the lowest number of children per family. 


Utah is on the other end of the spectrum with an average of 2.32 kids per family. Alaska, Idaho,  Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico also have 2+ children on average, although most states have around one to two kids per family. 

8. The average family size in Utah is 3.51 people, the biggest of all the states. 

(Statista, Utah IBIS)

Utah also has one of the highest birth rates in the United States. As of 2021, the birth rate in Utah was 14.0 per 1,000 residents, which is higher than any other state as well as the nation’s average of 11.0 births per 1,000 people. 

Ten states with the largest average family size

  1. Utah: 3.51
  2. California: 3.44
  3. Hawaii: 3.41
  4. Texas: 3.27
  5. Alaska: 3.25
  6. Georgia: 3.23
  7. Nevada: 3.22
  8. Idaho: 3.21
  9. New York: 3.2
  10. Louisiana: 3.19

9. Families are the smallest in Maine where the average family counts 2.79 people.


Here are the 10 states with the lowest family sizes in the USA. 

  1. Maine: 2.79
  2. Vermont: 2.82
  3. Wisconsin: 2.94
  4. Wyoming: 2.95
  5. New Hampshire: 2.96
  6. West Virginia: 2.99
  7. Oregon: 2.99
  8. Montana: 2.99
  9. Iowa: 2.99
  10. Ohio: 3

Vermont and Maine also have the lowest birth rates in the county  — 49.9 and 44.9 per 1,000 women aged 15–44, respectively. 

Average household size by earning potential

Smaller households are not advantageous to the families themselves as fewer people are adding to the household income. 

For instance, the Census Bureau estimates that the poverty rate for families that had at least one adult child living in the home (aged 25 to 34) would have been 11.5% without the young adult contributing to the household instead of the current rate of 6%. 

10. Around 19% of families in the US have an annual income between $100k and $149,000. 


The breakdown of average annual income among US families looks like this:

Average income Percentage of US families 
Less than $15,000 5.6%
$15,000–$24,999 4.8%
$25,000–$34,999 6.3%
$35,000–$49,999 9.7%
$50,000–$74,999 16.1%
$75,000–$99,999 12.8%
$100,000–$149,999 18.9%
$150,000–$199,999 10.4%
$200,000+ 15.5%

The average family income in the USA was $88,590. Family income is calculated as the income earned by all family members over 14 years old living in the same household.

11. Families in Massachusetts had the highest median annual family income at $113,822.


In fact, median annual family income was highest in D.C. where families are reported to make $138,184 a year. Conversely, the median family income was lowest in Mississippi at $64,035 and Puerto Rico at $27,699, which is significantly lower than the median family income for the USA, standing at $85,806 in 2021.  

12. Around 8.8% of families in the US live in poverty. 

(Statista, Census Bureau

The sharp decline from the 11.8% of families living in poverty in the early 2010s is mostly due to the increase in the median income of family households by 1.2 percent between 2017 and 2018.

Asian families have the highest average income of all ethnic groups — at $118,386, it is significantly higher than the U.S. average. The average family income of black and Hispanic families, on the other hand, is below average at $62.301 and $59,541, accordingly. 

Average American Family Size By Race

Although white families are the most numerous in the US, families of Asian, Black, and Hispanic are much larger in size compared to the nationwide average.  

11. 102.06 million households in the US are held by a white householder.


White households make up the majority of families in the US, followed by white, non-Hispanic (85.08 million), Hispanic (17.7 million), and Black (17.36 million). 7.28 million households in the USA had Asian ethnic backgrounds. 

12. Counting an average of 3.4 persons, black families are larger than the nationwide average.

(USAFacts, Pew Research)

In 2019, the average African American family consisted of 3.4 people compared to the US average of 3.2. This was also higher than Hispanic families (3.8 in 2019), Asian (3.4), multiracial families (3.2), and white households (3.0).  

As of 2021, the majority of black people in the US live in family households. More specifically, 39% live in households headed by married couples, 31% live in female-led and 5% in male-headed households. Only less than two-in-ten, i.e. 16% live in non-family households. 

13. The average Hispanic family consists of 3.8 people, while Asian American families count 3.4 persons. 


Not only are Hispanic and Asian families larger than the US average, but they also tend to be more family-based. 75% of Hispanic and 71% of Asian households in the US are made up of families, much higher than the US average of 65%. 

Among Hispanic households, Guatemalan, Salvadoran, and Mexican American families are the biggest in the US, counting at least four people. 

In terms of families from Asian ethnic backgrounds, Hmong, Burmese, Pakistani, or Bangladeshi American family households have more than 4 members. 

American Family Size Growth Trends & Historical Data 

The shift in household composition and family size over the years has had a major impact on the economic and social well-being of Americans. The growth in the number of families has spiked demand for housing which leads to increased residential construction and a rising need for housing-related goods and services, such as furniture and various home appliances, home accessories, and subscription services. 


14. The share of nonfamily households has more than doubled between 1960 and 2017. 


In turn, the share of family households has declined from 85% in 1960 to 65% in 2017. There has been a shift within the family and nonfamily categories as well — the proportion of married couples with kids has decreased from 44% in 1960 to 19% in 2017. At the same time, the share of single parents has gone up from 4% to 9%, as has the ratio of people living alone from 13% to 28%. 

15. 59.7 million people in the US live in multigenerational households as of 2021.

(Pew Research, PropertyManagement.com)

The number of multigenerational homes has more than doubled since 1970 with 18% of US residents living in multigenerational households in 2021. It is also estimated that a quarter of young adults now live with their parents or grandparents, up from just 9% five decades ago.  

What’s more, the number of young adults aged 18 to 29 moving back in with their parents peaked at 49.5% during the Covid-19 pandemic. Today, one in four millennials are living with their parents, 22% of which reside in their parent’s home, while 4% have their parents living with them in their own household. 

16. 72% of adults aged 25 to 44 headed family households.


From these, 58% headed families with children (38% were married couples and 19% were single-parent families). The percentage went down to 21% for 45 to 64-year-olds as most of this generation (37%) were empty nesters, i.e. married couples without children.  

Unsurprisingly, the majority of 65+ either headed married couple families without kids (44%) or lived alone (42%). 

Most young adults lived in nonfamily households (61% vs 39%). Only 15% headed married couple families — 14% were single parents with children and 7% were single-parent families. 

17. The average size of houses in the US has increased from 831 square feet in 1790 to 2,496 in 2019. 

(Population Education, Bankrate

While the average house sizes in the United States increased, household sizes decreased from almost 6 in 1790 to 2.5 in 2022. This, along with the growth of households from 34.94 million in 1940 to 131.2 million in 2022, has spurred demand in the housing market and an increase in prices. 

Namely, in 2023 sales of homes went up by 14.5% (the first increase in the last 12 months), while prices dropped by a small 0.2% which marks the first decline in over a decade. 

Fascinating Family Facts and Statistics 

  • Only 11% of families counted five people or more by 2010. 
  • 64.7% of households in the US are families. 
  • 40.02% of all family households in the USA have children.
  • The average family income in the USA was $88,590.
  • The average Hispanic family consists of 3.8 people, while Asian American families count 3.4 persons.
  • 59.7 million people in the US live in multigenerational households.