If it seems like the relocating families you work with have been getting smaller, it’s probably because they have.
New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the average American household had 2.52 people in 2019 — the lowest number ever recorded. For comparison, in the post-war Baby Boom era, the average sat around 3.36.
A few factors — including urbanization, and the forgoing of marriage and childbirth — have contributed to the decline, though the figure could be close to bottoming out as the makeup of modern households evolves. Two key components of this evolution: more adult children choosing to live at home and more unrelated people grouping up to save on real estate costs.
For those of us in mobility, it’s important to be aware of what this trend means. “Families” don’t look the same as they did decades ago — but are our mobility programs evolving with them? If we’re too rigid in how we apply family-oriented benefits, we’re not going to align with the needs of many of our relocating employees. Now is a great time to talk with your relocation management company about how to think differently about your program and your approach to relocating families.
In the U.S., the Census Bureau’s main household-size measure shows only the tiniest declines in recent years, while another census survey shows it rising since 2010. Adult children have been staying at or moving back to their parents’ homes. Unrelated people have been living together in greater numbers, too.